"Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times—speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly—and so become more and more in every way like Christ."1
I heard what I thought was a very funny ad on the radio. The announcer was discussing something with a make-believe Unanimous Anonymous support group. Like many a funny ad, I enjoyed the ad so much I don't have the vaguest idea what product and/or brand name they were selling.
However, this ad reminded me of people who always agree with everything you say—whether they mean it or not. They can drive you nuts. I'm talking about people pleasers who always want to please you. They will give you the answer they think you want. They fall over backwards to help you even when you don't want their help. Or give you things you don't even want. I'm sure you've met one or two of these people. Sometimes they are referred to as "yes" men. You have no way of knowing what their motive is or what their real intentions are.
Actually these people are untrue to their own selves because they are very insecure and have an over-zealous need to please just about everybody in a vain attempt to get approval, which they substitute for love. In other words, they don't have a healthy sense of self-love and acceptance.
The reality is that until we can love and accept ourselves in a healthy way, we cannot fully love and accept anyone else because we can't give what we don't have.
The way we grow in self-love starts by getting real; that is, by being honest with ourselves and admitting that we feel insecure and don't have a healthy sense of self-love and acceptance. Once I admit that I feel insecure, I can stop trying to prove to myself that I'm okay and get off the endless merry-go-round of trying to please everyone. This can be incredibly liberating. Furthermore, it's the only way I can do anything about my problem.
Then I need to admit how I really feel to at least one or two trusted, non-judgmental and supportive friends who won't judge me or tell me I shouldn't feel the way I do. (I feel the way I do because of who I am which has nothing to do with whether I should or shouldn't feel the way I feel.) When I am courageously open and honest about myself with these trusted friends, and they love and accept me exactly as I am, little by little in time I learn to love and accept myself in a healthy way.
It also helps to realize that God loves and accepts us exactly as we are. But He also loves us too much to leave us as we are. He wants us to grow and become whole so His love can flow freely through us to others. However, until we love and accept ourselves, God's love is blocked or hindered from flowing freely through us.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be real and help me to find a loving, accepting, non-judgmental friend or two with whom I feel safe to share my real self. Through their love, and knowing that You love and accept me as I am, please help me to love and accept myself in a healthy manner so Your love can flow through me to others without being blocked or hindered. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Ephesians 4:15 (TLB/NLT).