Overcoming the Need to Please Disease

Overcoming the Need to Please Disease

July 29, 2014

“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” Proverbs 29:25 (ESV)

Lysa TerKeurst

Hello, my name is Lysa and I want people to like me. So, I will sometimes say yes when I really want to say no. And when I do say no, I sometimes worry about how much I’m disappointing that person.

I would much rather write this in past tense. Like, “I used to struggle with this, but I’ve matured past it. So, let me share how I bravely say no and never fret over that decision.”

But this isn’t a past-tense issue in my life.

No matter how I want to spin what this is, I have to be honest. I was born with the Need to Please Disease.

My heart races. I feel sick to my stomach. And I wish I could become invisible when someone requests something from me that I know is unrealistic right off the bat. My head says no, but my mouth says yes, and before I know it, I’ve just added another item to my already overflowing to-do list.

It’s part of my DNA to love others and not disappoint them. But I have to realize real love is honest. Real love pursues authenticity rather than chasing acceptance.

We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please.

So here’s how I’m challenging myself to overcome the Need to Please Disease by making peace with these realities:

I am going to disappoint someone.
Every “yes” will cost me something. Every “no” carries with it the potential for disappointment.

Either I will disappoint this person by not meeting their expectations, or I will disappoint my family by taking too much time from them. Do I wish I could say yes to everything and still keep my sanity? Yes! But I can’t. So here’s how I will say no:

“Thank you for asking me. My heart says yes, yes, yes — but the reality of my time says no.”

A good verse for this is our key verse today, Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe” (ESV).

I must pause before giving immediate answers.
Sometimes it might be realistic for me to say yes, but I’ve learned to let my yes sit for a spell. Pausing allows me to assess how much stress this will add into my life. The person asking me for this favor probably won’t be on the receiving end of my stress. It’s the people I love the most who will start getting my worst when I say yes to too many people.

So, here’s how I will give myself time to make an honest assessment:

“Thank you for asking me. Let me check my calendar and think through some other commitments I’ve already made. If you haven’t heard back from me by the end of the week, please connect with me again.”

A good verse for this is Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come” (NIV, 1984). What this says to me is we don’t set our hearts up to dread what lies ahead.

Some people won’t like me.
In an effort to keep my life balanced, I will have to say no to many things. If someone stops liking me for saying no, they’ll eventually stop liking me even if I say yes right now.

There are some people I won’t please no matter how much I give. And some people won’t stop liking me no matter how many “no” answers I give. My true friends are in that second group, and I love them for that.

Here’s a great verse for this: “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 (ESV).

I challenge you to pause this week when asked to add something new to your plate. And remember … pursue authenticity by being honest rather than chasing acceptance by always saying yes.

Dear Lord, help me to pursue authenticity this week as I’m faced with decisions and schedule changes. I want to focus on pleasing You, not people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Psalm 84:12, “LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.” (NIV)

Cure the disease to please with the biblical understanding of the command to love in Lysa’s new book, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. The book doesn’t release until August 12, but you can pre-order your copy today and receive free resources valued at $50. Click here for more information.

Join Lysa on August 12 for a fun, free webcast to celebrate the release of The Best Yes! Click here to sign up.

Do you find yourself aiming to please others over God? Take a look at the three statements Lysa listed above. Then choose one to consider and pray about this week.

Lysa TerKeurstClick here to pin the imageClick here to download this free printable PDF

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  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful, enlightening insight! I am a poster child for saying “yes” to everyone! I will carrying these verses and this advice with me everywhere now! May God continue to bless your ministry Lysa! <3

    • “Real love pursues authenticity rather than chasing acceptance.”~Lysa TerKeurst
      Wow! What an awesome thought for tonight! At this very late night hour, it’s
      wonderful to rememb…er that real love doesn’t pursue acceptance. My incredible
      husband accepts me for who I am, regardless of the physical challenges that I’ve been born with. He simply sees me as just a girl, who is as normal as can be to him.
      God is the same way. He doesn’t want us to pursue acceptance from Him. It’s mere-ly His real and unconditional love that we are most definitely after.
      Unconditional love is what God gives us all the time, no matter what we may be
      going through in our lives. He isn’t going to ask us to change who we are, just so we can receive His wonderous love.
      I find myself trying to please God more than others. Nevertheless, my school days were spent attempting to please others a lot more. Ultimately, I now know that I didn’t have to do that whatsoever. God is the only one who wants me to please Him with just being the way that I am. Ultimately, trying to be something I’m not was the way I was made by others in order to attempt to please them with
      absolutely everything I did.
      My husband, Ron Smith loves me as I am. He doesn’t want me to do anything to change the way I am. He doesn’t love me because I have cerebral palsy. He merely loves me because of how God created me to be on the inside. Ron loves me because of the type of person I am
      underneath what I look like on the outside. I feel the absolutely same way about my hubby. It’s not his blindness that attracted me to him at all.
      What had attracted us to one another was our personalities, our friendliness, even our hearts. Ron’s got a big, caring heart, and he’ll do absolutely anything to help me out. I ♥ this incredible husband of mine, and I wouldn’t ask him to do anything to change the way he is for all the worldly fashion trends that are in media today.
      “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” Proverbs 29:25 (ESV)
      Wow! How so true this is! A trap is laid if we only believe in the things of this world. Believing in the things of this world may satisfy us for a little while;
      however, we’ll eventually be hungry for something even more. We’ll be hungry for something that this world isn’t going to be able to satisfy whatsoever. Only God can fulfill that emptiness that we may often feel in our dark times.
      Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come” (NIV, 1984).
      Wow! What a very powerful thought! I’m thinking that this verse is saying that we don’t need to please others, no matter just how much they may not like us. no mat-ter how much we may want to be accepted, we need to remember that we’ve been created unique by God. There is only one person who can do what we do, and who you are is very special.
      “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 (ESV).
      Woww! How so very powerful this verse is! We shouldn’t attempt to please others whatsoever. It’s their loss if they don’t like the way we may do things in our life. Nevertheless, God loves us just as we are. He has created us all in His own unique image, and we’re His children forever and always.
      “Dear Lord, help me to pursue authenticity this week as I’m faced with decisions and schedule changes. I want to focus on pleasing You, not people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”~Lysa TerKeurst
      Wow! Quite a powerful prayer tonight! No matter how my schedule may change I only want to be able to please God. After all, pleasing others was what we all had to do growing up. Pleasing others seemed to be the only way that we would even be liked and accepted by our peers, needless of what differences we all may have had- wheth-er physical or otherwise.
      Psalm 84:12, “LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.” (NIV)
      Wow! What a powerful thought! We are blessed when we trust wholeheartedly in God. God can help us overcome whatever challenges we may be going through, and we don’t have to do anything to please Him whatsoever. All we really need to do is take all of our concerns and cares to Him in prayer. See More

      • While I agree that God’s love doesn’t depend on anything we do/ fail to do, He in fact, DOES ask us to change and seek His favor/approval (or acceptance as you’ve called it). He tells us to throw off our old selves (Eph 4:22); to repent, turn back to him, live differently (Luke 3:8a; Acts 2:38, 3:19, 26:20; Rev 2:5); He tells us to stop sinning (Jer 26:13; John 5:14; 1 Cor 15:34); to live in a way that pleases Him (1 Thes 4) and that if we continue to live under control of our natural sinful state, we can NEVER please Him (Rom 8:8). We’re told if we don’t pursue His favor or we deny Him, He will deny us and we will be judged and condemned (Matt 10:33; Romans 6:23a). The best example of this is the nation of Israel. They failed to seek ONLY His approval & favor (God’s approval/favor are biblical terms—Luke 2:52, Acts 11:23 Amp, 1 Cor 11:19) and He REJECTED them, and salvation came to the gentiles (Jer 26:13, 18; Romans 11:14-18).

        We don’t have to pursue His love…we have that as shown by His free grace sacrifice. We DO need to pursue His acceptance, and that simply means living faithfully (Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord, Rom 6:22,23). And that’s the crux of it…His is the only favor we should be mindful of. Thanks Lysa, for the reminder. I’m glad you say no to other things and YES! to this ministry!

  2. Amen. Amen. Amen. Love this. I’ve been learning that the people who are mad I say no, aren’t people I want to be pleasing anyway. Thanks for giving me some new responses. 😉

  3. Denise Harris says:

    I have been struggling with being a yes person to everyone. I realized I have been exhausted from this and decided to say no sometimes. People have cut ties with me over it, but the burden has lifted and true friends have made themselves known. Thanks Lysa, this message was needed!

  4. wendy Marken says:

    I was taught by my pastor years ago how to say no. I was being pulled 4 directions he saw it intervened and sat me down for a wonderful talk. “I am going to teach you a powerful word NO” lesson learned big time. I was very active in church, Sunday school, assistant youth director (acting director under pastor as ours was in a wreck) sang in chior and tried to keep involved with the singles ministry. I was working full time and going to school.
    Saying all that to say the singles were wanting more from me. The ladies auxiliary was pressuring me to help. Pastor; God and myself were the only ones that knew I was about to lose it. I would not speak up and do one more thing over and over. He helped me to become able to say NO.
    It was not easy at first, I would refer whoever to pastor. Than I started to say no pastor told me not to do anymore. Than I started to say flat out no I do not have the time. I eventually was able to get it under control.
    Now 30 years later I say no. Pastor has since gone home I have moved but think of him when I say no. But, now I only take on Projects that God wants me involved in. At home still single my brother is after my time. My BFF is after my time and I still remember my lesson to say No.

  5. Wow and Thank YOU! Lysa, this is ME, too…and it is exhausting. Thank you for the challenge of today’s post. I think I need to pray about all of them, but I will start with this one: Every “yes” will cost me something. Every “no” carries with it the potential for disappointment.” God is amazing and uses your gifts in such a big way! 🙂 Have a wonderful day…Love you and all you do!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this message today. I really needed to “hear” this as my tummy is currently churning about some telephone calls I have to make later on. Blessings! A

  7. Yuuupppp! Needed this too. Thank you.

  8. It helps to take the long-term view. Sometimes I say yes to something that doesn’t really work for me, but it might be a good opportunity for others to develop their skills and use their gifts Or those doing the asking are trying to shift their responsibility to me. My yes can be a set-back to their emotional or spiritual growth. Ask “is the Kingdom of God better off if I do this at this time?”

  9. Real Love song I heard this morning! Please God than others by not spreading myself to far for service. Thank you for this confirmation and blessing!

  10. I am so happy I do not struggle with this but know people who do…thank you Lord!

  11. Wow! I went to bed last night upset with myself for saying ‘yes’ when I should have said ‘no’!
    I too, am a people pleaser and very often over commit (I am up early this morning to attend a 7:00 AM meeting an hr away because I didn’t say, NO!). ***thats just one incident from yesterday that I should have said ‘no’.

    Thank you so much for the devotional this morning; I’m hoping I can do better …
    I am 57 yrs old, 2 needy parents (One an Alzheimer patient and the other a stroke victim) , 2 grown sons and daughter-in-laws, 4 grandchildren and I work a partime job (that I really don’t have too) in order to keep sanity 🙂

    Your words have encouraged my heart that I’m not alone with this disease!!!!

    From my heart,

  12. Yep, thats me, sometimes it is not even my time, its other resources too. Have been feeling like I am on a hamster wheel for weeks on end. I nedd to get off it – it affects even my prayer life. Lord help us..

  13. Have you been hiding in my closet? My husband will definitely amen this, it will probably end up on our fridge!

  14. No matter how many times I hear this message, it always bears repeating. Amen! Thanks for sharing what’s worked for you. Now if I can only apply it to me…

  15. Lysa, this post was so on point for me today. It was the confirmation I needed for a decision. I just made. thank you! I’m inn anew season of my life and in learning that all yeses aren’t good for me or my family. Sometimes you have to say no, no matter how good the opportunity may be. Thank you for the confirmation.

  16. Thanks for the reminder that too many “yes-es” will only end up stressing me and my family out…never the ones who asked for the help. My husband has had to remind me to say no many times. I’m getting better at it, but still need the reminder.

    Have a good day!

  17. Oh my goodness … This just happened to me. I take in foster kittens for a local shelter. I had 3 kittens who were 8 weeks old then the shelter rescued 18 4 week old kittens and I just had to help out and say yes to 3 more. Now my older kittens are 11 weeks and no one is adopting. It’s become too much work for me.
    Please pray that I get some wonderful families to adopt these babies. Then I’m going to take a break.

  18. Thank you for your Devotion and reinforcement of the dilemma of over committing, particularly when the reason for over committing is a need to please others. In my experience, if one is mindful, the reasons for saying ‘yes’ are rarely as simple as needing to please others so they will like us. And, authenticity is so much more than being willing to manage our commitments. Being true to oneself and to God’s call may compel a person to make choices that appear selfish or foolish to others, including those who love us best. Pleasing ourselves is part of being authentic. Pleasing God is the reason we are here. Pleasing others when it also pleases us and God is authentic.

  19. Sue jason says:

    Hi Lysa, thank you, thank you, thank you…for todays devotion….I’m in my 60’s and so mentally and physically EXAUSTED from thinking I can never say NO..I want to use my time wisely, showing The Lords love and grace…praying that The Lord,works out the verses you quoted, in every YES and NO decision….thank you for your ministry…

  20. Thank you for this devotion. This is me to a “T”. I will write these phrases down and read them daily. I fear disappointment every time I say yes or no. The word authenticity is one I will recite over and over. Thank you for sharing the same thing I go through.

  21. Lysa,
    I just attended my first She Speaks Conference and left feeling overwhelmed, in a good way, and excited about what God has in store for me. I long for His wisdom and discipline along the way. Each year I search for a word that I can use throughout the year as my anchor. I dig into it, research it, and love the ah hah moments I get along the way. As I waited for you to sign my book the other night, I thought what will I say when it’s my turn to meet you. As I approached you, I said, “You must be exhausted.” Your response was, “I’m doing great now, when I get to my room it’ll hit me.” Then when it was my turn to interact with you, the only thing I could say was “thank you.” I instantly became emotional so we took a quick pix 🙂 The emotion was not the boo hoo kind, but I had such an overwhelming sense of gratitude. You give of your time, your talents, and your God-inspired words so unselfishly and for that, I say “thank you” again. I long to get beyond the please disease and am working on it every day. I will tuck both your words and the scriptures referenced into my heart and ask the Lord to fill all the “yes” crevices with a flowing “let me think about it and get back with you” stream. I have a lot of crevices so I need a stream like this–just saying… Thank you again, and I am so honored to be a Jesus Girl walking alongside a bigger-than-life Jesus girl.

  22. As I read today’s devotion regarding over-commitment, Philippians 4:13 came to my mind (For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength – NLT). While over-commitment to satisfy man will surely lead us astray from our relationship with the Lord, I think that we should also consider that God has great plans for us when we walk with Him, and sometimes those plans can seem intimidating or even impossible. From my experience, PRAYER is the true discerner in situations where I am not clear on whether something is God sent, and there have been several occasions where I have been called to take a large leap out of my comfort zone and/or say “yes” to something that I feel I can not humanly succeed in doing. Additionally, when I confide in God that I just can’t do something He has placed on my heart to do, he comforts me through my prayers and devotions. I know I am right in that I simply CAN’T do all these things on my own, and by faith, I DON’T do these things on my own. He continually amazes me by using me to glorify Him, but I PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for His wisdom to guide me so that I know that all that I say “yes” to is God sent.

  23. This has been very helpful. I really start to make some changes especially always saying yes to things at my church for the fear ” it might make me look not dependable”. I do take time from my family and didn’t realize it.

  24. This is fabulous! What if it is your work that keeps asking, using, demanding more and more? I have 2 little kids and pay for our health insurance, I just cannot bail on my job. It already breaks my heart, I cannot be home with them. I try to tell my boss, I cannot carry any greater workload, but he doesn’t get it.:(.

  25. okay, so I am trying to stop and sit still in front of my computer at work before I actually start work. I am racing in my cubicle, tidying up because my sister will probably stop by, after her appointment in my building. What am I doing? Housekeeping. I want to be sure my “space” is neat, and clean, and presentable. Now wasn’t it presentable when I came in this morning? I didn’t notice. I was too busy wanting to please the eyes of my sister for when she stops by. UGH!!! and then I read what you shared. different take, same thing. Wanting to please man (my sister), rather than God. Okay, here I go. God will be pleased at how my space looks. Not only today, but every day from now on. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

  26. Mrs. McLaughlin says:

    This is always a struggle for women! God created us to be helpers and we sometimes forget that our first priority is our husband and family. If I am asked to “help” others with something I always ask my husband for his thoughts and permission (yes, I said permission). You don’t realize the wisdom God has instilled in our husbands until you ask. As God created us to be helpers, God created men to be leaders and logical thinkers. Our husbands see the toll and stress these “extra tasks” put on the family dynamic. And when your husband tells you it would be a good idea to pass or say no, listen to him, don’t debate his decision, and instantly follow his guidance! Because guess what, if you debate him he will change his suggestion just to make you happy. That is a man’s biggest pitfall (they want to make us happy). When you follow your husband you will find that life is so much easier and freeing! I find that when I go back to that person who asked for “help” and say “I would love to help you with this, but my husband thinks that it would be too much for me right now with all my current commitments” that I have earned their respect for following my husband.

    • Mrs. McLaughlin says:

      And if you don’t have a husband, ask your dad, uncle, or elder in the church. There is a man somewhere in your life that can help you rationally think about your commitments. And remember Grace is built in!!

  27. Thank you for giving me some much needed tools to say “no” and not feel so guilty about it. I also have the “disease to please” and feel so guilty when I don’t volunteer. School is around the corner and committees will all be clamoring for volunteers. Your post today was just what I needed to hear to help me put things in perspective. I can’t wait to read your book!

  28. Hello, my name is Kristy and I want people to like me.
    I’m the same way. It’s so frustrating at times also. Thanks for this post.
    P.S. I get your devotions in my email so I don’t visit your site anymore. However, today I decided to and I am so glad that I did. It is beautiful. I’m going to have to visit the site more often. It makes me smile! 🙂

  29. Rachel P. says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. I just love you and feel like we’re friends! I struggle to surrender in this area as well -we’re works in progress girl! Keep up the wonderful work. You and all the Proverbs 31 ladies have been such blessings in my life!

  30. Karen Kramp says:

    If ever a message was sent just for me, this was it. I know you said to think about one of the three, however, they all apply. Regardless of what I do or don’t do, people are not going to like me anyway. Some will pretend that they do until I say no or disappoint them, then who they really are cones out. I am working through the grace of God not to say yes so fast, that I need to stop and make sure that I can do it. Thank you for “my” message today. It was just what I needed.

  31. I really have been working on this because I have a serious problem with the need to please disease!!! This a great reminder that I think we all need to hear. I really like your ways to respond. Going to use that in the future for sure!

  32. thank you, Lysa! I am learning that in saying “yes” to everyone – including my separated husband – I am putting them in the place of God in my life. I need to listen to His “yes” for me and healing will come. My yeses have unintentionally enabled sin in others’ lives and caused me to give into my sin of co-dependency. I am learning through Holly Gerth’s work that I need to “love all but please One”. True love doesn’t take responsibility away from others for their actions by saying “yes, I’ll carry the load of the need for your acceptance”. True love says “If I’m the right one for this job, God will show me. If not, He’ll lead you to the right one and your project, life, healing, etc will be all the better for it.” My “need to please disease” has shown me how I make myself and idol as I MUST be the ONLY one who can do this right or they wouldn’t have asked… Thank you, Lysa, for your reminder that I must seek God’s face before I say yes OR no to any request. If it’s not from Him it will bring hurt to self and others.

  33. Lorraine Furtner says:

    What? I can say no? I can say no and STILL be a good Christian? How freeing! I love where you say “the person asking me this favor won’t be on the receiving end of this stress.” How many times have a put my family in a stress-bind over my people-pleasing over tasking. Now, I can look at my “no’s” to someone else as a “yes” to giving my family the gift of a less stressed me—which is CERTAINLY a more Godly example than my stressed out persona. Thanks for being so real, Lysa.

  34. Thank you Lysa, this hit home. I am in a very small church so we wear a lot of hats, and get asked to do lots of very good things but they may not all be mine to take up. I did feel God prompting me to teach a Bible study series, and I did, I’m praying If I am to teach another one that God will give me the topic/focus/materials to teach. Last week there was an instance where a person had missed s session and asked if she could come to my home to view it, I said yes, but realize now I shouldn’t have. She stayed over 4 hours. I was frustrated and didn’t know how to politely let her know it was time to go. I of course griped to my husband about it. 🙁

  35. I am slowly learning how to say no. My mother in law and my husband are ones who are very people oriented, and usually say yes or feel it necessary not to disappoint or exclude people. For my oldest’s first birthday party, I wanted something small, my mother in law insisted that as a first birthday party I had to invite all of the extended family or I would risk hurting feelings and cause family drama. My family was full of drama so I really didn’t care, but my husband and his mother were insistent. We didn’t have a lot of money, thankfully close friends and the family that was invited all pitched in, a friend let us use his back yard, and we had a cookout style birthday party. I was stressed the entire time leading up to it, I accidentally(no seriously I it was an accident), scheduled the party on fathers day, it fell on his birthday, and I thought it would be cute for his party to be on his actual birthday, so it all worked out, and we had a ton of extra food for awhile! After that experience though, I have slowly learned to say no. Occasionally, it has upset family members…many times after the birth of my second, my mom would ask to either come see the baby, for me to bring them over, to run errands with her. A lot of the times I said no because when she was there he got off of his feeding schedule, its a lot of work to get an infant and a toddler out the door, and it was winter. These last two months, every weekend we have had something to do, somewhere to go, someone to see. This past weekend was the first time in weeks that we had no formal plans…I stayed home, cleaned as best as I could with a preschooler and baby underfoot. Was trying to get caught up, my plan for Sunday was to go to church come home and continue to catch up on laundry, and spend the day tiding up before my mother and sister in law returned home from vacation (we moved in shortly after the birth of my youngest, it helps us and we help her since the passing of my father in law…its been an adjustment but is working so far). My husband reminded me that we had a cookout to go to, I looked at him and said nope, you can go but I am peopled out, I want to catch up around here, I want to care for my family, I need some relaxing putz around the house time. It was difficult for my husband to hear that, but I told him that I understood that he felt obligated, but as much as I wanted to go, caring for myself, and recognizing when I am on the verge of becoming overwhelmed and listening to that voice is important.

    I also think it is important to remember, it is also ok to back out of an obligation if it is causing too much stress. Around my sons birthday, we found out that a friend of ours was to be evicted leaving him and his young daughter homeless. At the time, we had no idea my husband would be accepted for an apprenticeship that he applied for (which would cost us a sizable pay cut), and had reliable child care with my parents. We offered to take her in if needed, our friend was confident that God would lead someone in their life to help them. A few weeks later (all in the same week), my husband found out he was accepted into the apprenticeship and we pulled my boys from my parents due to differences in beliefs on how to discipline a child. I was already stressed to the max trying to figure out childcare for my boys, when I got a phone call from my husband saying it was looking like our friends daughter would be coming to stay with us. I began to have chest pains from the stress of it all and just prayed, because while I love this little girl like my own, I was struggling to see how it all worked, and I was barely keeping my head above water with what was already on our plate, late to work constantly, short tempered, constantly feeling run down ( BTW, I did not go to the hospital or drs because while I have never had stress or anxiety cause chest pains in the past, my father has had it happen, and I didn’t have any other symptoms of a heart attack). It was difficult but I looked at my husband and said “I can’t, physically I can not handle it” .He was mad, he was furious, and he was going to tell his friend to bring her over anyway. I had already explained that the stress of it all was having physical ramifications for me, and I felt betrayed that he would chose his friendship over his wife. He felt we were being called to care for our friends daughter, and while I know that when God calls us to do something we should do it, I truly believe God does not give us more than we can handle, but I also couldn’t believe that if we were to do that, that God would allow me to feel physical pain over it. I felt betrayed that my husband would chose his friendship over his wife. I looked at him and told him I felt that his friendships and his blood family meant way more to him than I did, and that for me in this moment, when I was lying in bed curled up in a ball, clinging to my chest because it hurt because I was so overwhelmed, him bringing this girl into our home was a deal breaker for me, and I would take our boys and leave. He stomped away, and went and spoke with his mom…his mom, sister, and brother all worked out a plan to bring this girl into our home, transportation for childcare, where she would sleep (my sister in law offered to clear out her room since she hadn’t slept there since her father passed away), and how everything would work. The said they were willing to keep her for a month as a trial and see how it would go from there. I reluctantly agreed to what was worked out, and then went to my psychiatrist and asked him to write me a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication as I knew I was going to need medication to help regulate my stress. A few days later we received another call stating that a church member would allow both of them to stay with them until he was able to get on his feet. I was relieved. I felt that I had been tested by God though, and I failed miserably as I freaked out instead of leaning on him, but at the same time it forced me to communicate with my boss about my lateness and communicate with her what was going on.
    All of that being said, I am struggling with a decision, its not necessarily a yes or a no…but its to stay at my current job or to quit once my husbands benefits kick in and become a stay at home mom so my oldest can go to his preschool. We have a babysitter so I can continue to work, our babysitter is watching both of our boys for considerably less a week than anyone would take for even one child, but she doesn’t have a car, she’s a sahm of 2 kids who are similar age as our own, but really if she was going to take my oldest to preschool she would need a van. I’ve been praying and searching and I am lost. I would love to stay home, but at the same time, working keeps me sane to some degree.

  36. Latasha says:

    Congratulations to the best yes Lysa I’m so proud of you!!!!♡♥♡♥. Thank you for that devotion. Saying no is love and sincere. It’s not possible to please everybody but you can please God. Remember people need to tend to themselves and they shouldn’t depend on you to say yes. I say yes to God for you. I been there my mom constantly asking for yes yes yes for money and begging. I don’t exactly say no I just don’t do it.

  37. Caroline Ostand says:

    Dear Lynda,
    Thanks for being the messenger and giving ways to put it in effect. Good luck,with your new book! the others have been great!

  38. I am recently struggling with this with my teenage son. He wants and wants and doesnt realize the expense and not being able to afford things. Just two years ago my husband asked for a divorce and now he tries to “buy” our son. He tries to make me look bad all the time because i cannot afford the things he wants and expects of me. I hurt so badly over this and i want to give my son more but i can only do what is in my budget. His dad tries to turn him against me and has done a very good job at it. My husband now, gets upset(not with me but the ex and my son) for the way the treat me. I know i have to say NO but it breaks my heart to not be able to give him what his dad does. I hate the strain it puts between my son and myself but i realize he only wants me when he wants something bought. Money cant buy love but the lack of it sure can make it hard on u! I am learning how to say NO but i have to learn how to not let things get me all upset and torn up because i cant do things. Life is a never ending struggle!!!!

  39. Loved it! As usual your devotions speak to my heart. This really hit home for me. Thank you Lysa for allowing God to use you.

  40. Recently, I have been thinking about the verses you shared. I came across them in a book I was reading called “What Are You Afraid Of” by Dr. David Jeremiah. I’ve been processing what he shared in his book. Very similar to what you have shared here. The fear of man takes different forms. The fear of disapproval/approval, persecution, and fitting in for the teenager/adult. I took on a job where I started to be concerned about what my boss thought of my performance, and then realized if I’m doing my best, giving it all I have, and it’s not good enough then maybe she needs to bring help or find a new person. The thing is, she never said a thing and no one said anything negative, but it was the fear of man that was driving these thoughts. I finally let it go and I became less stressed about my job and more confident in my work. Any time we elevate a certain man or woman and try to bend over backwards trying to please them, we put ourselves in that snare the Bible talks about. I also realized it can also work with politics as well. We want the next guy to fix what the last guy messed up and we put our time and energy into the next guy. The thing is, he’s just a man. We need someone bigger. We need to look to God to change things. Any time we elevate man above God we put ourselves in that snare. This is a good devotional. There is a lot to ponder and put in perspective. Dr. David Jeremiah brought up Peter and his three denials. Each person that questioned him represented a specific group of people, and the root of his denials would have been fear. I never really thought about it until reading his book. I struggle with this fear of man. I fall into it often and sometimes it has to do with people at church. Maybe that person is mad at me, or why did she unfriend me on FB or why didn’t he/she talk to me etc. These thoughts really mess with me and I’d rather crawl in a hole and hide sometimes. It is something I’m trying to work on keeping these verses in mind you’ve shared. Thanks again for the devotional.

  41. Fabulous says:

    What do you do if one worries about pleasing your husband and not living up to his expectations? I’m constantly stressed and overwhelmed.

  42. Elizabeth says:

    This is solo me! Something I’ve always struggled with. I pray about this often. Thanks for sharing!

  43. Melchorita Fahey says:

    I feel the same way too! Feeling exhausted of over committed to please people. Thank you so much Lysa for sharing your heartfelt encouragement today and also, thank you for all your devotions I received in my email. Works in progress. God bless us all!

  44. Mrs M. I would definitely NOTAsk my husband for permission to do things! Or my father who has memory loss, or my nonchristian brother, or my teenage nephews, or my sons, wonderful as they are, or my gead uncle! I ask God, He made me an equal human being, wholly saved by Him, not sinful men or women, I have brains, spirit and soul that belong to Him alone. I exist as a whole entity, not a half baked object waiting for a human male to validate me, God does that bit. I certainly dicuss, as does he, ideas we may have both together or individually, and come to a conclusion WE believe God has guided us to, we often involve out adult offspring in this, but in the, end, my Saviour is my Leader, my husband a united, as one, entity in God by marriage, not just because he is a he.

  45. Lysa,
    Your devos are so timely. I find myself in many similar situations. Blessings to you as you continue to pen your thoughts and help us to become “unglued” and “unrushed.”

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