“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
This past Friday, I was driving with the cruise control set to 65, in the right lane of the highway, waiting for my sister to catch up to me in the van.
But the vehicles behind me would have none of it.
From tailgating to hands being thrown up in frustration, to passing me in the left lane with jerking movements, I could tell that by my simply going the speed limit, I was causing others who wanted to be moving faster to have a moment of distress until they zoomed past me in typical, rushed, New York fashion.
And it was taking every ounce of my self-control not to get flustered or pressured into driving faster or driving the same way.
The people-pleasing part of myself was having full-blown anxiety.
“But why? Who cares what they think?”
A still, small voice in my spirit nudged me, almost jokingly.
“Seriously, they’re going to pass you and continue on their way without ever remembering you. And you’re sitting here freaking out because you don’t want them to think badly of you or be inconvenienced?”
I realized I had been gripping the steering wheel so tightly, and released my fingers and my breath in one motion. Then I laughed to myself.
What is wrong with me??
Even now as I write about it, I’m rolling my eyes at myself. And the fact that this is still something I’m mulling over makes me think it’s a big deal, underneath the guise of some silly afternoon drive on the highway. What is it that makes me so worried about what others perceive me to be, or makes me feel like I’m compelled to run at their pace, even if I’m going in a different direction?
Just a confession of something I struggle with. Hi, I’m Sabrina, and I’m a people-pleaser.
Honestly, I used to be much worse. And it was hard to make decisions or accomplish anything without someone affirming who I was or approving my actions. I took a lot of opinions to heart, and have spent quite a bit of my adult life trying to unravel all of the negativity I allowed to take root in my heart from the words and actions of others.
But thank you Jesus, for reminding me daily who I am. I am unconditionally loved, redeemed, chosen, and made for a purpose by the God of the Universe.
And if that isn’t enough of an affirmation, then I’m really hopeless.
So on that afternoon with cars racing around me to get a little farther down the road, I settled back in my seat and turned up the radio. Let them go. And allow yourself some breathing room to arrive at your destination at your own speed.
After all, it’s not their journey…it’s yours.