I spent much of my life worrying about pleasing people.
I was very shy in my younger years and as a young adult, very concerned with others accepting me. My happiness in life centered around being liked and being popular and had major goals of being a cheerleader and staying socially active.
But I came to realize people who liked and even loved me, would let me down.
I had gone to church all of my life and thought I was a Christian by virtue of church attendance. When I began college, I was in a dorm room with three other students, one of them a self-proclaimed Universal Transendentalist. One day she returned from class saying she had just become a Christian.
This was very intriguing since I thought just about everyone was a Christian.
When I began to ask questions, she asked if I would be willing to talk to a Campus Crusade for Christ staff member on campus named Cathy. I agreed.
When I met with Cathy, she explained the Four Spiritual Laws booklet to me. We read through each of the four steps and I learned about God’s love, my sin, Jesus’ death on the cross and how to receive Christ as my personal Savior.
I told Cathy I would think about praying and inviting Christ into my life. I feared becoming a Christian would mean long dresses, wearing my hair in a bun and being sent off to a foreign land, which would not fit into my popularity addiction!
Eventually, I realized that while I wasn’t hostile to God, He really wasn’t a part of my day-to-day life. I became convinced that since He loved and created me His plan for me would be the very best -- fulfilling and satisfying.
I decided I wanted more of Him in my life and prayed, asking Him to take control.
Since one of my greatest needs in life was pleasing and being accepted by others, I was fearful of what my friends would think if I became “religious.” I wasn’t sure about risking their friendships for this new adventure.
Then I realized being loved by God was way more important than being loved by people. Those who truly loved and cared about me would respect my decision whether they agreed with it or not.
I immediately wrote a letter to my parents letting them know I’d asked Christ into my life.
My parents took my letter to their neighbor, a minister, who -- unbeknownst to us -- had been praying for us to know the Lord. He helped explain to my parents what was happening in my life. Eventually my mother and father placed their faith in Christ. Not long after, both of my siblings did too.
Since the day I submitted complete control to God, I am now free from the burden of worrying what others’ think of me.
What God thinks of me is what’s really important now. While His love for me is unconditional, I want to love Him back by pleasing Him.
My focus is not on me all the time. It’s on His will and other’s -- how God wants to love and care for them through me.
God has loved me since the beginning of time. As His love fills me, it spills out onto people around me and sometimes, they want His love filling them too.
Would You Like to Know God Personally?
Mimi Bailey lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. She works as an account manager for LesConcierges, managing 11 Conceirges that provide services for Fidelity Investments around the country. Mimi enjoys being involved with her local church.
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