Being a people pleaser leads to heartache 100% of the time.
This is an aspect of my life that I hate. There is this 18 inch space between my head, which know I cannot please everyone, and my heart, that wants to make everyone comfortable and happy. I fully realize I can’t give everyone what they want, but I do believe in the power of compromise in order to help people feel comfortable and happy. This is often where I get into trouble.
Last night was the finale for our Wednesday night ministries until we start back in the Fall. The last night is always pizza night, which people love. I’d planned a simple night for everything else – the kids would sing some of the songs they learned, the bell choir kids performed some of their songs. They would do this during sinner, and then they would get to eat. Then we brought in a local reptile guy who has crazy creepy crawly things like scorpions, snakes, lizards and spiders. It was such a fun night for the kids. The adults and the youth groups opted to stay instead of go to their class (I asked the leaders to let them vote on it the week before). So the room was full of adults, students and kids, enraptured by this guy telling us about the creepy crawling things from Genesis, then the snake from Genesis 3, then eventually reminding us that like all the creepy crawly things that have a purpose (to eat other bugs, for example) we so much greater than them, so God must have an awesome purpose for us.
It was a lovely way to end the 12 weeks.
Then this morning I get a nasty facebook message from someone (not a parent) upset they missed the kids singing because they couldn’t come to dinner because of a food allergy. So I’ve spent the last two hours going through all the things I did to make sure people knew what was going on the last night, trying to figure out where I had gone wrong. I’d made announcement during the last few weeks of dinner, I’d communicated via email with everyone teaching and the pastor, who teaches the adult, knew exactly what was going to happen. The kitchen staff knew what to expect…
I get this message and nearly break down because of this. What is wrong with me?
I have a long, torrid history with criticism. Just when I think I’m getting somewhere something like this happens and I feel like I’ve taken three steps back. Once again, I find myself seeking my identity in what others think of me rather than just doing what I am called to do to the best of my ability. Is it ever possible to get over this? Is it ever possible to take criticism with grace? Is it possible top take it without it getting personal?
Will my skin get any thicker? And will I learn who’s house I am serving?