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False Guilt and People Pleasing


False Guilt and People Pleasing


Definition of false guilt: false guilt has nothing to do with what’s true and accurate, nor is it related to true repentance. Rather, it is usually the fear of disapproval. False guilt comes from a guilt-ridden conscience, which means that a person is incapable of self-acceptance and does not believe they are acceptable to others or God. People with false guilt feel their efforts are never really good enough.

Are you more concerned with what people want from you or what God wants from you? Do you have burdens and are overcome with guilt if you say, “No” to others request? If you answered yes to these questions, then you might be a people pleaser and not a God pleaser.

So why are we more concerned with pleasing people then God? We are afraid we might let them down, we are afraid they will be angry at us, we are afraid of disappointing people, we are concerned that we may look bad, and we are afraid if we don’t say “Yes” to others request then they might not get the help they need. Do we ever stop and ask God what He might want us to do? Usually we don’t, we go by our feelings and the feelings that others impose on us like guilt, manipulation and shame. If we do everything everybody wants us to do then we might lose out on the opportunities that God has for us. We are not called to “do” everything for everybody. Get to the “roots” of why you have to say “Yes” to everyone and everything.

There was a time in my life that if someone asked something of me even though I did not have the time, energy or peace about it, I would do it anyway. Why? Because I was afraid of letting others down; disappointing them. I was afraid if I said, “No,” they would get angry and stop talking to me. In reality, this has actually happened to me, I said “No” to some request of others only to be met with anger and shutting me out of their lives. I ask you today, does that sound like love or manipulation? If someone asks something of you and you say “No,” they in love should understand. It is really about boundaries. If you or other people lack boundaries then you are enmeshed with that other person, and their wants become your wants.

It is okay to set boundaries. You know what you can handle and what you cannot handle. You know your limits. Do not let others impose their limits and lack of boundaries upon you. It is okay to say “No.” I can say it will not always be easy but you cannot go around just doing what everybody else wants you to do.

When you say “No” do not be burdened by guilt. God gently corrects us but He does not pour guilt over us. How do you know you are under guilt? Do you hear thoughts like, “I should be doing this, I ought to be doing this, and I could do this?” If God’s peace is in something then you will be guided by a “flow” and you will not be bombarded by guilty thoughts. If God is in something, you will know; He will not make you feel bad about your decision. If you are supposed to do something, then God will let you know gently but He will not pour out guilt and condemnation.


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