About the Author

Angela Nazworth is a shame-fighting storyteller who writes mostly about the beauty of grace, faith, friendship, vulnerability and community. She is a wife and a mother of two. Angela's also an encourager, a lover of good books, coffee, girl's night out, sunshine, and waterfalls. In the 15 years since she...

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  1. Angela,
    Again, I sense we have a lot in common. I was (an still am to a degree) a true people pleaser. I don’t like for peoples’ boats to be rocked and I have been known to exhaust myself trying to keep everyone happy. With God’s patience, I am learning that to keep others happy is not my job. In fact, like you said, it can be a form of idolatry…ouch! It can also lead to resentment – when you try so hard to please people, and being people are still disgruntled, it means I’ve failed. I’ve been discovering that the more I allow my love needs to be met by the one who loves me above and beyond, the less I need the approval found in pleasing others. I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in sharing this am. Know you are not alone…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  2. Oh yes, Bev and Angela, this has been me for the past fifteen years…I’m only just breaking free of it, learning to stop analysing how people will respond before I do something and acting on what I feel called to do and not what I feel will earn the most nodding approval.

    • It was Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Love Idols that opened my eyes to the life I had been leading since my teenage years when I had turned away from God and toward the praise and approval of others.

      • Isn’t that one of the most amazing books ever? I just love Jennifer Dukes Lee.

        • Oh yes! It sure is. It has been such a key to helping me to go out and discover just how very much I am already loved, accepted and safe in my Heavenly Father’s arms.

  3. Thank you for being so transparent. I feel I have become the ugliest and the most fearful of people, because of some hard-core rejection in the last several years. Rejection that pulled up deep hurts from childhood when people started leaving our church and consequently, made me feel as a child that I didn’t matter to them. I started becoming the awful person these recent people had framed me as, I think because if I were ugly and awful like they said, then I could understand why they hated me. Only now I just hate me. And now I am not the girl with great friends and a few “haters,” I’m just the difficult unlovable girl standing all alone now, not knowing how to get back to where I was of generally seeing the best in people, and being a sweet and free person. I feel like the injured animal that bites out of fear and I think everyone is out to hurt me. I feel I’ve ruined my life, and there’s no way to undo what’s been done.

    • Johnna, my heart aches for you this morning. I am praying for you today. God has a way of redeeming what we ruin. I’m praying He gives you the ability to see yourself the way He sees you: through eyes of love. Sending a virtual hug your way.

    • Sweet Johnna, I started with sweet, because there is sweetness in you, dear one. You are lovable. You have a tender soul and a beautiful heart … it shines through what you shared. And although you are correct about not being able to undo what you have already done, Jeanne wrote beautiful truth about how God can redeem whatever mistake we make. Anything. Beauty can spring from the ashes left in the wake of a million scorching tongues. I’m praying for you today … praying that Jesus will work in your heart in a new way. That you will allow yourself be vulnerable in your trust of him. Much love to you.

      • With tears spilling down my cheeks, I thank you for your prayers and gentle words, so needed toward my haggard soul.

    • Johnna,
      Prayers for you today! May God heal all those hurts and being peace to your troubled soul!! May you see yourself as beautiful, loved, an a Child of God!!

  4. Angela, thank you for sharing your story. That craving for approval, for acceptance can drive us to do some ugly things. Been there too. Thank goodness God places truth-tellers in our lives that help us see life with a different lens. How beautiful of God to weave together a friendship between you and Diana through the gift of forgiveness.

    I appreciate (and need) the reminder that we don’t need to seek our approval from people. We can’t please them all anyway. And we’ve already been given the gift of acceptance, of approval from our Abba. No other approval means as much as that.

    I loved your final paragraph. That’s the lesson God’s been teaching me. Beautiful post today!

    • Thank you so much, Jeanne. I love how God can take something steeped in bitterness and turn it into something to bring Him honor and glory. Thank you for your encouragement.

  5. Thank you for such transparency. There are more of ‘us’ than you think… I think we speak out unkindly from fear or from past (or present) hurts. But the God who made us and knows us through and through doesn’t want us to stay that way. His Word and His Presence can truly make us into a different person.
    Great post!

  6. This is so powerful, Angela. Thank you for this brave reminder that people pleasing is not always an act of service, it can sometimes be a weapon the enemy uses against us. So grateful for your words here today.

  7. Oh Friend, I am a people pleaser as well, but I often have to question my motives.

    My motto of: Why Can’t Everyone Just Be Nice?! plays into my life and yet,if I look closely enough, I see that I am not being nice to please the Lord, but only to please people.

    He must be my reason for every act I have.

    Thank you for this reminder!

    Blessings on your day today!

  8. Angela,
    I was and still am a bit of a people pleaser. I guess I just wanted harmony in my life. Never truly thought of it as idolatry! I need to quit pleasing so much and just love people like Jesus would!
    Love your honest openness here! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Never been one to be a people pleaser , however when my gestures of giving were misconstrued as buying people’s friendship, it cut a deep wound in me. Until I realised that it was a case of just not being liked for anything really. Am I cautious now, yes but I ‘ve learnt a very difficult lesson. Never give without asking the Lord.

    • I can relate to people misunderstanding gifts. It’s because of mistrust on their part, their issue. I agree, best to ask the Lord.