I’ve confessed before that I struggle with being a people pleaser. Sad, but true. The only tricky thing about being a people pleaser is . . . other people don’t always agree! So in an effort to keep one friend happy, I might accidentally disappoint another and then I end up miserable because I can’t figure out a way to please them both . . . you get where I’m going with this?! To say that being a people pleaser can be a source of anxiety would be a bit of an understatement.
Now place that people pleasing person (me) in a situation where obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading puts me in a place where people are definitely NOT pleased with me. Seems like a recipe for disaster, right? I mean, a people pleaser is liable to wimp out the instant someone frowns at her! But something wild is happening.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, I’m continuing on the path of obedience. I cannot avoid those who don’t agree with my choice (though one of them is VERY good at pretending like I don’t exist!) so I must regularly deal with the displeasure of others, expressed in direct terms or in passive-aggressive moves like refusing to speak to me. Surprisingly, I’m not experiencing the anxiety that would be typical for me in this situation. No sleepless nights, no stomach tied in knots, none of the typical stresses that eventually cause me to cave and do what those “others” want.
Let me be very clear – this is NOT because I’ve suddenly become a stronger person. The Spirit called me to act and now the Spirit is equipping me to obey! This journey is far from over, of that I am sure. But what I’ve already learned from the experience could prove to be life-changing.