The healing of Bartimaeus shows us how people pleasing can stop our healing. I love that Bartimaeus had enough shameless faith to ignore the crowds and pursue Jesus.
Today we take a brief look at the area of people-pleasing and how destructive it is for those who need healing.
Namely because people pleasers unconsciously put the voice and opinions of others above God’s.
People pleasers don’t fully accept who God has called them to be
When I trained in counselling, I was surprised to discover just how much of a people pleaser I was and how my whole life was rooted in shame.
I’m in no doubt this contributed to the deterioration of my health.
PEOPLE PLEASING HINDERS HEALING
Shame is a root cause of people pleasing, driving us to wear a mask to conform to the world around us. As children we unconciously repress our authenticity in order to earn love from our caregivers.
This keeps us safe within the family dynamics. See DO YOU FEEL ASHAMED OF YOUR ILLNESS? HERE’S WHY
When God heals us, He heals us back into the people He saw when He laid the foundation of the world. This is who we really are.
Letting go of the people pleasing (via self love and authenticity) therefore opens the door to our healing.
Learning to love myself has been a huge part of my healing journey and I’m still growing in it.
I’m learning to stick up for myself, voice my thoughts and do what’s right for me, even if others disapprove.
But the Holy Spirit is leading me one beautiful step at a time so the journey is tolerable for my system. Can you relate to this? Are you full of self-compassion or is this an area God is healing in you as well?
In the healing of Bartimaeus, we learn he was no people pleaser. The crowds wanted him to just shut up but instead of pleasing them, He continued in his pursuit of calling on Jesus.
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
But Bartimeaus was a man who completely ignored the people. He did not conform or do what others wanted. He followed his own heart.
Bartimaeus’ pursuit of Jesus proves his faith. When you know something in your Sprit, no-one else can hinder you or talk you out of it. Faith is therefore an anti-dote to people-pleasing.
When Jesus passed him by, He saw the opportunity in front of him and went for it, nothing could have stopped him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.”
Bartimaeus’ faith caused him to ignore the crowd and elevate the power that Jesus had. If He listened to the crowd instead, there would be no miracle.
God wants us to be so desperate for Him and His healing, even at the cost of those around us.
CONFORMING TO THE WRONG VOICE
What do doctors say about your situation? what do those around you say? Do they say that you’l be ill for the rest of your life? have they given up?
Or are there people telling you where you’re going wrong, what needs to change and what part of your life falls short?
We are surrounded by people who love to voice their opinion even though it’s not their life or their journey.
Whenever we honour the voice of others above our own, we devalue ourselves because we’re saying they’re more important.
In this story, the crowd thought Bartimaeus had no right to call upon Jesus. I wonder if he was some kind of dignitary would they think the same?
Even though a beggar, Bartimaeus knew he was just as important as everyone else. That being the case, there was no reason for him to succumb to the crowds.
If there is anyone in your world, who speaks to you or treats you in a way that is ‘less than’?
Then could it be that God is encouraging you to either stick up for yourself or place firmer boundaries?
This is a challenge for a people-pleaser who is programmed to not rock the boat, to stay small and avoid conflict.
You see, it shows a lack of authenticity. When we conform, please others and deny our own truth it puts a lot of pressure on the body.
There is a conflict which takes place when your heart is saying one thing whilst your head is saying another; this causes adrenaline or cortisol to be released in the body.
This amplifies symptoms.
Gabor Mate, mind-body doctor, says a lack of authenticity, especially in the area of suppressing one’s own truth to please another, can cause cancer and other illnesses.
“If I chronically repress my emotional needs in order to make myself ‘acceptable’ to other people, I increase my risks of having to pay the price in the form of illness” Gabor Mate.
Bartimaeus was not a people pleaser. If he had pleased the crowd, he never would receive his victory.
STRIVING TO BELONG
We live in a celebrity driven world where gaining likes on social media, being noticed by the right people and the world’s perception of us unconsciously drives us.
Being busy is glorified.
I certainly don’t tick the right boxes either; I don’t have the marriage, the children or the health for someone my own age and I certainly don’t have the popularity.
We strive for acknowledgment or recognition, betraying ourselves in the process. This is just the same as people pleasing.
Striving and self-betrayal reinforces the sympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as the fight flight response which is the stress response and keeps us in survival.
There is no healing here.
The healing of Bartimaeus shows us is self love and shameless faith in action. It didn’t bother him that he was not busy or admired by others.
He didn’t wear the ‘right’ clothes or hang out with the ‘right people’ so was no doubt invisible to most.
When you know the love of God, you are more likely to love yourself the way God wants. Loving self causes us to accept ourselves irrespective of others.
What would your life be like if you based your self esteem on who God says you are instead of striving to create the ‘right’ perception from other people?
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.
If you could just let go of wanting to be popular or be noticed by others. To know who you really are and love and honour yourselves. Image: Rebekkah Ballagh. Journey into Wellness
To help you step out of people pleasing, take a read of the next post on this series on the healing of Bartimaeus. GOD SAYS YOU ARE WORTHY. 7 STEPS TO GROW SELF-ESTEEM (PART 2)
To feel secure in your own skin instead of becoming who society says you need to be in order to be accepted.
Where is people-pleasing showing up in your world?
God chooses and loves you, just as you are. He wants to heal you back to the person He saw at the creation of the world.
Have a great rest of the week.
This is part of the Bible series on Bartimaeus: