I still struggle with what people think of me.
Proof surfaced during the opening night of the annual Word Weavers retreat in Leesburg, Florida. We were asked to dress as our favorite detective to coincide with the theme: Your Identity as Writers. I chose Miss Marple, the unexpected detective created by the famous mystery writer, Agatha Christie. My costume was a big hit! So what could go wrong?
Well, the MC asked us to come to the podium and explain who we were. My introduction brought smiles. Unfortunately, I threw out two more comments as if I were the real Miss Marple. The first brought a chuckle, the second dead silence and blank stares. Hurrying to my seat, my mind bombarded me with accusations. “You talked too long. Why did you try to be clever? You changed their positive view of you.”
After wrestling with my thoughts for a while, I remembered the solution…once again. My new freedom allows me to make mistakes without focusing on what people might think. It felt good to let go of that silly incident, confess my self-centered thoughts, and thank God that my flaws and imperfections help me be a real person to the people I meet.
“I am full of mistakes and imperfections and therefore I am real.”
Leigh McLeroy, in The Sacred Ordinary, explains, “I was a performing child, and I remember performing well—not only because I wanted the satisfaction of doing a thing rightly but because I wanted the praise that typically comes with achievement. . . . (My parents) praised my efforts and my accomplishments, and I liked that very much. But I also believe . . . that they would have loved me just as much had I not performed so well. I believe this because I love the children in my life, even when they don’t shine. . . . Where love is concerned, it’s belonging that counts—not performing.”
She ends with I Corinthians 13:7-8, “[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. . . .” Then Leigh asks, “What could you do that could make [God] love you more? He has already given everything to make you his.” God longs for us to bask in His love, the best defense against whatever our minds might prompt us to do, especially in front of an audience.
Have you had an embarrassing, people-pleasing moment? What did you learn from it?