Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Handling Criticism...Not One of My Strengths

Hello.  My name is Kimberly, and I'm People Pleaser.  I wish I could say, "I'm a recovering people pleaser,"  but that's not the case as of yet.  I've worked on Boundaries, recovery and the like for years, but the people pleasing is a flaw that I'll probably take with me to the grave.

If you follow this blog, you may know I was recently defriended on Facebook. Honestly, the rejection from the defriending really threw me for a loop.  I tend to be the type of person who is loyal to the end in friendships, often at my own expense.  I don't like friction and will choose being agreeable rather than making waves.  Some people have no issue expressing their displeasure to your face, but I'd just about rather experience another root canal than confront someone who intimidates me.  Hurting the feelings of another makes my heart hurt, so I avoid.  I know this isn't being honest about your feelings with others, but sometimes being this kind of honest is just really hard.

I found a great article on being a people pleaser.  If you're unsure of what constitutes a People Pleaser, check out these signs:

Signs of a People Pleaser

Sadly, despite all the efforts to break out of and overcome this disease of people pleasing, one glance at this list causes me to once again realize I continue to be held hostage by the reactions of others.  

I told my sweetheart the other day, I wish more people would criticize or knock me down me so I could toughen up  a bit.  I remember when I worked selling real estate I had to learn to deal with rejection.  It was very hard at first.  I remember not being chosen for various jobs.  At first I'd wonder, "Why didn't they choose me?"  As time went on, I began to roll with it all.  Sometimes, I'd get bent, but overall I felt what was meant to be happened.  

This morning I was working on my Bible study and once again the story of Mary and Martha was the topic of examination.  Why does God always bring back Mary and Martha?  I can't seem to escape those two sisters.  Perhaps I haven't yet learned what I need to learn from them.  

The study question was focusing on John 12:3

Precious Mary, here she is, once again choosing the right thing to do.  She took the perfume (pure nard), which was supposed to be her dowry, and poured it on the feet of Jesus.  This was a big deal!  This perfume could have held her future.  She was sacrificing possibly her most valuable earthly possession for her Savior. Unbeknownst to her, she was preparing Jesus for his burial by pouring this perfume on him.

She was honoring and living for Christ, at his feet.  Precious. Oh, how I wish I was Mary!  But just when I think I may have a Mary moment, I realize I'm a Martha.

While Mary was pouring out this expensive gift on Jesus, the criticism began. Judas piped up, criticizing her.  The Bible doesn't tell us what Mary did right then.  I want to know what the expression on her face looked like.  Did she look hurt?  Did she start crying?  Did she look up at Jesus and seek his protection?  Did He give her a reassuring look?  Did He look at her with approval?  Did Mary feel like she was defriended by one in Jesus's inner circle?  Accusations started pouring out regarding her actions.  

I love what Jesus said to Judas,   
"Leave her alone..."
This is music to my ears!  Jesus is our Protector!

There are times in life when accusations and unkind words will come our way.  I love that fact that I can turn to the Bible and find answers for the brokenness I experience in everyday life.  I know that in those pages I can find people who have walked sinful lives, just like me, and found sweet forgiveness.  I can find people who struggle with the same life stuff I struggle with.  I find real people who are rejected and broken.  I can also find people who are restored and made whole.

In my defriending, I learned one reason (I'm sure there were more) I was defriended was because of my pro-life stance.  I guess if I'm to be defriended for loving the unborn, that's okay.  I will always stand for LIFE, because I know my God loves life!

I can't help but wonder, even though Jesus told Judas to leave Mary alone, if she felt the sting of the words from someone who was in the "inner circle."  Judas was one of Jesus's disciples.  At this point, they didn't know Judas was going to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew, but the rest of those present might have been thinking, "Yeah, Mary!  What are you doing?"

I wonder if Mary had a moment wondering if she had done the right thing?  I wonder if Mary anticipated her actions would be pleasing to Jesus, but criticized by the others present?  I wonder if she went to Martha afterward and discussed the event? Did she wonder if she did the right thing?  Afterward, did Mary want to crawl under a rock and say, "I'm never going to go out again.  I can't handle the criticism and rejection."

I wish we knew more of what Mary was thinking.  What I do know, is we know what we were supposed to know of Mary.

I guess one thing I've learned through all of this may sound cliche:

"You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time." 

That's the way it goes.  No matter how hard we think we try, we won't please all the people all the time.  And that needs to be okay.

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