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Posted: October 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Some of the people

OK, I admit it. At my worst, I'm a people pleaser. I know, I know, I'm not supposed to worry about what other people think. The funny thing is that worrying becomes such a habit that I don't even know that I'm doing it. I'm surprised when my stomach gurgles, my neck stiffens or my palms sweat.
It usually takes a change of scenery, a gentle nudge from a friend, or a little extra rest to see that I need to change. Recently, I was fortunate to have a vacation. During that time, my mom came to visit. Mom's remission from cancer is a complete miracle. Her life reminds me that each day is a treasure. Worrying steals time.
I feel ashamed that I've tried to please others to the point of running ragged. In my well-intentioned desire to be helpful to everyone, I missed the very best. My actions were self defeating. And to top that off, I realized that I wasn't even helping Jesus.
"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ," (Ga 1:10 NIV).
I'm reminded of an old saying by the poet John Lydgate, "You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time."
No, this doesn't mean that I'm giving up on doing anything for anyone. But, I am going to stop working so hard to gain approval. I am going to renew my commitment to please Jesus Christ first. I'm going to try to relax more and take things one day at a time. If I get a little closer to doing this well, my stomach will hush, my neck will relax and life won't slip through my hands.

Prayer Starter: Dear Jesus, you kept your focus on your heavenly father. You didn't give in when others asked you to do things their way. Please lead me as I try to focus my day on you.

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