"I dwell in possibility" ~Emily Dickinson

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Against the vain judgments of men

Posted on: 10.02.2012

….and the perilous plight of the people-pleaser. 

That’s what I am: a people pleaser. It is a trait that has placed its bulky self right in the middle of my path too often.  It is a characteristic, which is at once a blessing and a curse.  I cannot be alone in this—someone please tell me you know what this is like!

Here’s the thing, whenever I lose focus of the One who gave me life, I begin to find my value in others and their opinions of me.  And despite the copious amounts of love I receive from those around me it just doesn’t satisfy the need to be fully known and unconditionally loved. 

In the book by Gary Chapman called “The 5 Love Languages” I identify myself as having a three-way tie in how I receive love from others: words of affirmation, quality time, and acts of service. 

I can tell when I begin to look for my value in others because this three-way tie gets all out of whack! {Do you want to know how I figured this out? I’ll tell you: I discovered this because I recognized a pattern. And a pattern can only be recognized if there are multiple instances in question.}

The “out-of-whack” value seeking looks like this: I begin to latch onto the words of others. {Not just words of affirmation, but words. Anything that is or might be directed toward me is fair game for my hyper-analytical mind.}Somehow, the criticism I overheard about my personality consumes me.  The barb directed at introverts in general only applies to me. The word “good” instead of “great” in a compliment is noted.  And, oh boy, woe to the person who questions my intelligence… I have it out for you!

UGH! This repulsive nonsense has dwelt in me. I let it grow in me by neglecting my relationship with my Savior.  The judgments of others have at times, nearly undone any shred of self-worth I had.

To be continued in Day 3. :-)

“Therefore [Christ] committed all to God, who knew all, and he defended himself with patience and humility against unjust tongues, or against those who thought vanities and lies, and [spoke] boastfully whenever they desired.”
            -Thomas a Kempis “Against the Vain Judgments of Men” in “The Imitation of Christ”


P.S. What’s this all about? Click here to read my introductory post. 


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