When you get rid of the notions of how people perceive you to be, only then will you be a step closer to being free from people bondage.
What exactly is people bondage?
It’s being bound to other’s opinions/perceptions/expectations of you. It is also having the feeling of needing to please others in order to have significance.
I used to feel that I had to live up to other people’s expectations of me. Having that mindset has caused me to become a chameleon around whoever expected a certain side of me. It wasn’t until I realized that the only person I needed to be was who God created me to be; with a gentle quiet spirit and all.
Trying to be someone else, will cause me to miss God’s opportunities He created for me.
Now I don’t have all the answers to overcoming people bondage, but I do know a few ways to overcome bondage so damaging to one’s growth in life. Once you can put people-pleasing behind you, you will be free.
People bondage is a mental battle.
I’m learning more and more why The Bible warns us to renew our minds daily. We pick up so many bad mindsets, and it’s those same mindsets that hinder us in life. People-bondage is no different. It is a mental battle. It is all in your mind. Overthinking and worrying about what someone thinks of you or trying to fit in with a group of individuals starts in our minds. If we can accept the concept that it’s okay to be different, it’s okay to not fit in, and that God created us uniquely, I believe that it’s a start to breaking free.
So, developing a prayer life where you specifically pray for your mind to be renewed daily is important. God will begin to work on your mind, and then you must fill it up with God’s Word that speaks to your insecurities. Which brings me to the next way to overcome the bondage of people.
People bondage stems from insecurities.
The reason I felt the need to please others was because I lacked self-confidence and had a lot of insecurities. I felt that if so and so didn’t include me in their group then there was something wrong with me. For example, I’m naturally quiet and I knew that most people thought I was weird. Then I started to believe something was wrong with me. Some people would say I needed to be louder or talked more, and I felt I needed to be just that in order to be around them. However, if I wasn’t insecure and was more secure in the person God made me, I wouldn’t care to fit in.
Insecurities are dangerous and they are lies.
Therefore, it is so important that we know who we are in Christ. Even with your flaws, you will be confident because you know that where you lack, Jesus will suffice. He will also bring the right group of people in your life that won’t make you feel inadequate or “weird” because of your difference.
Instead of worrying about what others think, you will focus on pleasing God. Which brings me to my last point.
We are to please God and not man.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
The Bible warns us in pleasing people. Shifting my focus from man to God not only helped in breaking people bondage, but it opened my eyes to more of God’s truth. I had to repent more than once for worrying about pleasing people.
We are to aim at pleasing God alone. Making sure that we are seeking the approval of God and God alone.
We all have dealt with people bondage.
The thing is that we all at one point in our lives have fallen into a little people bondage. Here are a few examples:
- Worrying what people would think if you stepped out on faith to pursue a dream career.
- Staying stuck in a toxic situation because of embarrassment if people found out.
- Wanting to change something about you in order to gain the attention of others.
- Not speaking up when you should in fear of making someone upset.
- The list goes on and on with ways we have all been caught up in people bondage.
Today, I want you to look over your life and really think of areas where you may have fallen into bondage. Then I want you to pray that God heals the root of the bondage and then breaks you free.
It’s not an overnight thing, because you will be tried and tested but I pray that you have the strength to look to the heavens and find your confidence in God to overcome getting entangled in people bondage.
What are some ways you have dealt with being entangled in people-pleasing?