Wednesday, November 9, 2011
People-Pleasing can quickly turn from serving another for their pleasure to a hunger for affirmation and acceptance. Both affirmation and acceptance, like food, are vital for human life and health, but when you live for the next hit they become destructive. You find yourself serving, ministering, and giving for yourself - to hear, "Wow, great job! Thank you SOOOO much! You are so amazing! I can't believe you did that for me; you really are an incredible person!" A & A addiction moves the focus away from "The Other" and the act itself and places it on yourself! That's why I want to join Frog.
In Haruki Murakami's short story collection, After the Quake, he shares the tale "Super-Frog Saves Tokyo." The narrative centers on a middle-aged loan officer, Katagiri, who receives a visit from a 6 foot frog. Frog invites Katagiri to fight against Worm, who happens to reside deep below Tokyo. In a few days Worm will become angry, an anger that will cause a fatal earthquake in Tokyo killing over 150,000 people. Worm must be destroyed and Frog says he can only defeat him with Katagiri's help. Katagir tries to wiggle his way out of the invite but Frog refuses to accept:
No, it is a matter of responsibility and honor. You may not be too crazy about the idea, but we have no choice: you and I must go underground and face Worm. If we should happen to lose our lives in the process, we will gain no one's sympathy. And even if we manage to defeat Worm, no one will praise us. No one will ever know that such a battle even raged far beneath their feet. Only you and I will know, Mr. Katagiri. However it turns out, ours will be a lonely battle.
I want to do what is right out of honor and responsibility... and love and genuine compassion and not primarily for affirmation and acceptance. The key is to bring joy to others without them knowing I was the one who brought joy. They key is to help others without them ever knowing it was me. Jesus says it this way: But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
So, I'm a recovering People-Pleaser, not because I don't want to serve others, but because I want to serve others for them and not for me, because I want to brave the battle against Worm, to stand victorious over Worm's lifeless corpse while the masses miles above go about their daily lives oblivious to the war that raged below . So today... give, serve, and minister incognito.
I'm Charlton Taylor and I'm a People-Pleaser.