Jen’s Gem: Nothing can separate you from God’s love.
During one of my prayerful meditations recently, this question arose in my spirit. “Are you a people pleaser or a people blesser?” While I’d certainly heard of the term “people pleaser,” “people blesser” was a new one.
According to Psychology Today, a people pleaser “is one of the nicest and most helpful people you know. They never say “no.” You can always count on them for a favor. In fact, they spend a great deal of time doing things for other people.” Other sources define people pleasers as doormats who are easily taken advantage of or taken for granted.
By nature, I am a giving person. I enjoy doing for others and helping them in whatever way I can. This could be sharing an idea that will help their business, giving a small gift, or simply being there to listen in a time of need. I don’t do these things in order to get something back. It’s just me being me. It’s who I am.
However, I was being led to discern the difference between a people pleaser and a people blesser. To do so, I looked at the motivation behind each. What was at the root of these behaviors? Here’s what I discovered:
If you are a people pleaser, you are doing things because you want to be loved and approved of by others. If you are a people blesser, you already feel loved and approved of and you want to share this with others.
I believe many people go around doing for others with the wrong motives. They’re feeling empty and worthless and in order to fill up that big fat hole in their heart, they do and do and do until they can do no more. They’re hoping that their generosity will be repaid with love, approval, and a feeling of worthiness. Sadly, even if they do get this reward, it is short-lived.
The Bible notes in Jeremiah 31:3, that God loves us with an ‘everlasting love.’ Everlasting. That means forever. That means unconditional. That means that no matter what, God loves us and nothing can separate us from that love. We don’t have to earn it. We don’t have to do anything to secure His approval. We don’t have to kill ourselves doing a b-zillion things in the hopes that He might love us.
It’s just who He is. He can’t help Himself.
It has taken me some time – and it’s still a work in progress – to lean on, rely on, and be secure in God’s approval of me. For much of my life, I sought the approval of my parents, teachers, and bosses in order to define my self-worth. If they gave me a thumbs up, I was a worthy person. When they didn’t? Eeks.
Changing a false mindset does not happen overnight. It also doesn’t happen by wishful thinking. It starts with identifying the change you want to make and then taking action.
I have been reading and studying the Bible for a few years now and my knowledge of it has grown. But what God has put on my heart recently is that this is not enough. It’s not enough to know what’s in the Bible. You have to put it into action. Otherwise, it’s just head knowledge. It’s similar to reading the instruction manual for your car, but never actually driving it to see if it works.
In my head, I knew and believed that God’s Word could change lives. I’ve seen it in others and in myself during some pretty dark moments. Yet, how could I use this same instruction manual to live my everyday life? How could I use these wise words to change a bad habit or negative mindset?
Then it occurred to me. I needed to speak these life-changing words every single day. I needed to reinforce God’s powerful promises by incorporating them into my everyday life. So that’s what I have begun to do.
Years ago, after attending a Joyce Meyer conference, I purchased her book entitled, “The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word.” I had tucked this away in my bookshelf and forgotten about it. But then I remembered how I’d read it in my car in the parking lot before I’d walk into work. I remembered how it gave me the strength to get out of my car and walk into a job that was sucking the life out of me.
I believe God is teaching me to let go of my old “people pleasing” behaviors and to become a “people blesser.” I believe He wants me to give out of the overflow of love and grace He has showered on me. I believe He wants me to grab hold of His seal of approval and know that no matter what happens or what others say to or about me, He will always love and approve of me.
This week, I’d like to encourage you to meditate on God’s love and approval of you, which is so beautifully described in Romans 8:38-39 below. No matter what you’ve done, what mistakes you’ve made, even if you denied His existence, He loves you and nothing will ever change that.
God wants to be a people blesser…to you. Let Him.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”