The Purple People Eater was an alien. It was described in the lyrics of a novelty song from 1958- the year in which I was not born until the second day. A People Pleaser is an “approval-eyed-guilt-driven-hurdle-running-people-pleasing” person, and he or she maintains a constant state of “keep-em-happy-at-all-costs,” which is a very rocky and rolling place to live.
When the “disease to please” flares up, the affected person measures life by unrealistic and even ungodly standards. An outbreak can occur because of their misguided explanations for why bad things happen. The sufferer believes “bad” happens solely because “someone” did not do something right, and they have a tendency to criticize and shower blame liberally on others (God included). Conversely, the people pleaser constantly excuses their own actions as blameless and understandable, and if there is praise to be given, they give it to the audience they want to please without notice of boundaries being broken. They might even go as far as lying, stealing, or cheating just to keep their “good standing” status with that audience they admire or fear.
We all know someone like this. We may even be surprised to realize we are an elite member of the “people pleaser society.”
After reading Psalm 147, I realize I am prone to the addiction of “people pleasing ways.” This tendency has brought me a lot of sadness, anxiety, and self-abuse. It is not a sign of a healthy mental process if I routinely lose sleep, over eat or under eat, or miss out on the good pleasures in life all because I am anxious about how I am perceived by someone. It is self-sacrificing in a negative way to stay worried about a person’s reaction to my actions. I can’t truly live as God intended if what I “do,” “say,” or “write,” is done simply to please people.
“People pleasing” is an elusive measuring stick at best!
Also, if I think I need certain people to stay “enchanted” with me in order to consider myself “good,” then I am running a race in which both of us will fail.
Psalm 147 echoes a sweet theme about “being pleasing” that occurs throughout the Bible.
According to the bible, God should be our primary target in our efforts to be “pleasing.” His pleasure should be significantly more important to us. According to Psalm 147:10, 11 the “work” of pleasing God is described like this.
“He (God) takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might. No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear Him, (Those who have respect and reverence for Him) in those who put their hope in His mercy and loving-kindness.”
The word “hope” means to wait for something good, but the “good” may not look good in the present moment.
We please God, not because we can be “perfect,” for He knows we are not perfect except for the covering of the grace He extends to us through Jesus. No! It is not our perfection that God searches for in order to feel pleased with us. God is pleased when we (His children) wait, expecting His good to come. God is pleased when we anticipate His mercy and loving kindness toward us even as we experience disaster.
I imagine this.
I am wearing His purple poncho of grace while I wait in my “hope” chair under the roof of disaster, and God looks over at me and says, “In her I am well-pleased!”
“Dear God, Let all my efforts be focused on pleasing You. Help me learn the discipline of hope and expectation in Your good. You know what is best for me and what is best for Your purposes, which are not necessarily my purposes. I know the ultimate good that lies ahead. My eternal life in Your presence. You see me. You see us. We will wait. Amen.”