by: Jared Etheridge
You are one in a million, no … make that one in 6 billion! You are unique and special, but it’s so easy to get discouraged, especially if you don’t like who you are. I know from experience. I was stuck in this rut of pleasing people. Now, I know it’s not wrong to be a people pleaser, and enjoy making people happy, but I’m talking about caring so much about someone else’s approval that it was interfering with my ability to have genuine interactions with them. I was trying so hard to be the person I thought others wanted me to be that my conversation was mostly an act … fake. I couldn’t just let things flow naturally and be myself. I wasn’t putting myself first. I didn’t like myself, so why would I? Don’t get me wrong; I’m not talking about sinful selfishness. I’m talking about being true to the deepest part of who you are. It’s important to be confident in who God created you to be!
If you struggle with loving yourself, you need to focus on what God says about you, rather than seeking the approval of people. God created us all with a set of talents and desires, passions, abilities, preferences, etc., that are unique and full of purpose. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” He knows you, and His opinion of you will never change, unlike the favor and opinion of people, who are fickle and wavering. God created you for his purpose and pleasure.
I was so worried with what people thought of me that I went against my being to try and please someone, or to keep from offending anyone, but check this out: Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare.” Don’t get trapped into thinking you have to impress mankind. Like I said, humans are fickle and always changing, and many of our opinions differ. You might please a few people, but you will never succeed in pleasing everyone at once. You will wind up feeling frustrated, discouraged and trapped if you act according to and base your worth upon the approval of man.
God’s approval is what matters. Part of loving and trusting our Creator is loving ourselves as He created us to be! God didn’t “mess up” when He created you. He doesn’t make mistakes. He loves His creation; so much that He rejoices over you with singing! (Zephaniah 3:17) You who are in Christ, the God of the universe DELIGHTS in you! You are His beautiful workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). We should be much more concerned with not offending our Maker, than being worried about what anyone else thinks of us. God created us for an individual purpose, and if we try to be someone else, we may miss out on what He wants to do in us! So don’t try to mess with God’s design. Get in touch with yourself again, and be the one God made you deep down. Avoid the snare. Rest in the freedom of the person you were created to be.