There are a lot of people beating themselves up these days. I see facebook posts where people are calling themselves losers for little mistakes they’ve made. I see women shaming themselves for putting on a few pounds. I see kids trapped in guilt for getting a B on that test rather than the A that was expected of them. I guess people have been beating themselves up since the beginning of time, but I am much more cognizant of it these days, and it is really, really bothering me. Why? Because I’ve lived in “beat myself up mode” for much of my life. Where did it get me? Holding hands with the enemy and allowing him to lead me to the edge of the cliff. Thank God I was rescued and now I’m taking steps to find freedom, but it’s still a battle.
I’ve been a people pleaser for like FOREVER. I’m not blaming my parents or my childhood or God or anyone about this, it’s just been my modus operandi for as long as I can remember. Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered recovery program, is helping me to recognize that this way of life has been very unhealthy and really it is a prison of my own making. This is my thought process on any given day > I must please people at all costs, they are my god, and if I don’t please them I am a huge failure > inevitable failure occurs > time to beat myself up for days/weeks/months/years/decades, because beating myself up will make me feel better. NOT!
Do you not know that God is crazy about you?
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139: 13-18
God knows all your feats and failures before you do. He has a beautiful plan for your life, and that doesn’t include living in People-Pleasing Prison. So, I am preaching to myself here too – Don’t beat yourself up! Let go of the enemy’s hand and take Jesus’s hand, which is always ready and waiting for you. You are loved, you are valuable, you are known full well by the Creator of the Universe.
I dedicate this post to children. I pray that you never have to live in People-Pleasing Prison because those bars can be even more confining than the bars in a literal prison. Be the you God created you to be, do the best you can with the gifts God has given you, love love love, and if you fail get back up again. To God be the Glory!