1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (KJV).
God defines True Love; therefore, we must not allow the world to define it for us. The love of the world consists of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. The moment any one of these three aspects of the world become the basis of love, we have departed from True Love. These are the opposite; in fact, those who embrace the world actually are enemies of God, or at least become hostile toward Him (see Romans 8:5-8;James 4:4). If you love God, but begin to adhere to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, your love for God will wax cold. If your love for God cools, you will be less able to love yourself properly.
The world counterfeits love and expects its followers to work for it. It has a different definition, and therefore has requirements if a person is going to embrace it. It is born of the flesh or the fallen nature of man, and it can never be satisfied. No matter how hard a person tries, he or she will never be able to satisfy those requirements. You might be very talented, but you will still be compared to others. If you lose your ability to perform in your talent, or perhaps someone surpasses you, the world will cast you aside. You could be the most “beautiful” person on the planet, but once you grow old or somehow lose that beauty, the world will look to replace you with some other beautiful person. Truthfully, it already starts looking for another, no matter how new to the scene a person is. You can be rich, but your soul can be very poor. If you have great wealth and are of the world, will you be able to discern who your friends really are? Does the world love you for you, or does it just admire what you have? What awaits you at the end of your life? If you are rich in this world, but impoverished in the Kingdom of God, what joy do you have? Love eludes even the rich, apart from God. If riches is the basis for love, you will never love yourself enough because there will never be enough to satisfy your soul if you are destitute of God.
Keep in mind that society as a whole begins with the flesh. Therefore, its love has no roots because it has no real depth. The flesh begins with outer appearance and bases much of its bias on beauty and talent. It does not see past appearances, and therefore, is incapable of embracing the things that really matter. Unfortunately, those who struggle with acceptance look at the superficial as the important things in relation to themselves. If their outer appearance does not reflect what they consider beautiful or handsome, they have already started behind in their race for love. How many people are so focused on looking good or looking better that it is to the point where they only feel good about themselves when they “look good?” If they do not feel good about themselves, how can anyone else feel good about them?
When a person seeks and depends on the affirmation of others, he is essentially asking them permission to love himself. If he feels affirmed, he will grant himself permission to love his self. On the other hand, if he feels rejected, he will deny himself love. His love for himself will fluctuate, and in general, his love will become unstable. The purity of love is lost in the mix. In his search for affirmation, he will try to be someone he is not. He will try to fit into some box that someone else built, or try to pour himself into a mould that he is not designed for. What makes this particularly difficult is trying to fit into what he thinks the other person is thinking. Thus, he has difficulty conforming to the mould because he cannot discern its actual shape. It is very difficult to live up to someone else’s expectations, especially if you are not entirely sure of what they are. Failure is sure to happen under such circumstances, and those who live the life of a people pleaser will never have the joy of experiencing true love. When they feel they have failed to live up someone’s expectations, they will feel unworthy of love. Love you have to earn is not love.
The motivations behind what people pleasers do for others are also suspect. What they do for others is more often than not, intended to cause others to love and accept them. That is not to say they do not want to bless others; but in many instances, they are looking for affection in return. It comes to the point where they become the proverbial “doormats” for people to walk on. They cannot say “no” to anybody because they are so overwhelmed by the thought someone won’t like them if they do. Unfortunately, they find themselves abused by others who take advantage of their disposition. This leads greater feelings of unworthiness as the result of their inability to say “no.” This is dysfunctional to the core.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (KJV). When we receive the Love of God through Jesus Christ, we are free to do what He designed us to do. What we do will be the result of who we are in Christ Jesus. That means you no longer have to be someone you are not. His love gives you the power to say “no” when it is appropriate. No more doormats, boxes or moulds for you!