Tips to escaping the roller coaster of caring too much what people think.
BY DIANE NAUGLE
"For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ."
8 Steps to Healing and Freedom from Approval
1. Acknowledge when there is an unhealthy need for the approval of another person.
Ask for forgiveness and ask God what the truth is. Repentance is key in this process. We cannot control anyone other than ourselves, so let God have His perfect work in you, perfecting love, because perfect love casts out all fear. In this case, it is the fear of man, and their opinions, that are cast out.
2. Ask God to reveal what lies or distortions of truth you have
Allow God to show you when this happens, and what is at the root of your wanting or needing approval. Then pray with the authority that you have been given against such things as fear, intimidation, manipulation, pride, and rejection. You may even need to break any ungodly soul ties with this person or people.
3. Ask God for a word to declare and stand on.
Print or write it out and display this word (it may be a verse) where you can see it every day. Declare it over your life any time you feel struggle.
4. Ask God how to love where fear has been at work.
We are to love one another. What specifically should that look like in this relationship or circumstance? He will give you insight and a strategy.
5. Seek God on what boundaries need to be put in place.
It's important to set boundaries. Most likely the other person will not know what to do with this new approach to your relationship and things may get worse before they get better. Stand on God’s promises and remain firm, responding with gentle words (see Proverbs 15:1 about gentle words turning away anger). Don’t strive to prove yourself, even if your Christianity is questioned. Abide in His peace, and remember that we are learning to live to please Him, not to please every person in our lives.
6. Trust in God’s protection.
This could mean submitting your reputation, your right to be heard, or to be understood. Trust that God will do what He needs to do as you submit yourself to Him.
7. Let your "yes be yes and your no be no." (Matthew 5:37)
Sometimes when compulsion to please is an issue, it is an opportunity to practice some simple boundaries such as, “I need to pray about this and get back to you” or let the machine take a message so you can pray and get your thoughts together before you have a conversation.
8. Maintain an atmosphere of honor in conversations.
Especially if it is a parent/child, or employee/superior, or church leadership relationship. Bless them in your heart, pray for them, and be led of the Holy Spirit.
Worship, read God’s word, fast, and pray. Fasting and praying are powerful disciplines that bring about the miraculous. The fear of man happens in all our lives. In order to fulfill God’s call on our lives, we must learn how to respond to it in His way. God does not want us to live on an emotional rollercoaster. His way is a path of healing and freedom.