I don’t remember a whole lot about my life before the age of 5 other than I always loved to dance and sing but most of all I loved to draw pictures and color them.
When I was 5 years old as most children in my country do, I headed off to my first day of kindergarten. I was so excited to be going to school. I was not a baby anymore and was headed off where the big kids got to go spend their days. I could not wait to play with the other kids and make whole a bunch of friends.
When my mother took me to my classroom I saw some of the other kids were crying and clinging to their moms but I was not scared at all, I was so happy to be there. The classroom was full of tables and we each already had a place picked out just for us. I found my name tag taped to the table marking my seat and I sat down. It was going to be the best day ever!
Shortly after our mothers left the teacher gave us work to do. We were to draw a picture of what we did over the summer. I loved to color so this made me very happy. I had my brand new cardboard school box filled with crayons, pencils and paste and I could not wait to use them!
I began coloring my masterpiece, I felt so happy but then something awful happened. I heard a little girl at our table whisper to the boy sitting next to her; she said “who is scribbling?” I looked around the table to try to figure out who she was talking about. “Where was this scribbling person at our table?” I thought to myself. I did not see anyone scribbling. Then I saw that same girl who had whispered to the boy and she was pointing at me! As she pointed she said “It’s her,” with a look of disapproval on her face.
I began looking around the table at the other children, all eyes were on me. I remember the boy next to me scooted his chair away from me making sure the others did not think he was the “scribbler’s” friend. I looked down at my picture which I had thought was beautiful a few minutes ago. I also looked around at everyone else’s pictures. Though I was just a little girl I still can remember the feelings I had inside. I was so embarrassed as I felt the tears begin running down my face. I wanted to run and hide but I was stuck there in that classroom at that table in an unfamiliar place and my mother who I always ran to, was not here to protect me.
I think that was the first time in my life I wanted to please other people who were not behaving very nicely. I was only in kindergarten but in my child mind, I wanted them to think my picture was pretty and I wanted those kids to like me. I remember looking at my picture wanting to hide it because they made me feel like it was ugly. I wanted run away go back to my home where my mommy was where everything I did was beautiful and everyone liked me.
I wish I could say that I continued “scribbling” my picture and being myself not caring what the other kids thought, but I did not. It was actually the beginning of a life of trying to please others. I was just coloring a picture and some little girl pointed out I was not doing things like everyone else. It can be really hard the first time you realize you are not like everyone else, even if you are only 5.
I still sometimes as an adult wonder where do those feelings come from? Why do I have the need to feel that I have to please others . I think its because we all need approval and we just want others to like us. We don’t want them to think we are odd or different or not smart. I was reading my Bible the other day and I came across the story of Peter denying Jesus. The night before Jesus was crucified his faithful disciple Peter denied him. Jesus even warned him he would do it and I do think Peter truly believed he would not do that sort of thing to his friend.
He warns Peter in Mark 14:27-31
- “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd,and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.
As you read on farther in Mark we can see it is true Peter did deny Jesus, as shown in 14:66-77
- While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway. When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept
I think that Peter feared for his life here and became afraid. I also think in our own lives we have a lot of reasons for wanting to please other people. Fear can be a huge reason we try to please others. We can fear harm to ourselves or just fear of being alone.
I feared others not liking me I also feared being picked on. But the bottom line is we as people just really do not like it when we feel not liked or unloved. No matter what the reason it can be scary.
I do believe we were made to please. But I do not believe it was people we were made to please. We were made to please one thing and one thing only and that is God. What God thinks of us is all that ever has and ever will truly matter.
Don’t take me wrong when I say that. This does not give us permission to go around acting like a jerk. We should truly care about others and love one another and doing acts of kindness are wonderful. We all should be nice to one another. But we should never be who we are not meant to be to please another person.
Being a Christian can be hard sometimes because we have to go out of the box. We have to say and do things that non believers may think are just plain nuts. Sometimes even the believers may think we are nuts. Our friends and family may think we are nuts too and guess what?? They may even not like us. But if we stay pleasing to God we are on the right path.
Thankfully a lot of things have changed since that day in kindergarten. We start learning our lessons in life as a young child and sometimes the lessons learned are not the right ones to learn. Until I sat in that kindergarten classroom it never dawned on my child mind that someone would not like me because I was me. Thankfully now I do know who I need to please. Something else I noticed along the way is if I just be who God made me to be, most people like me anyway, and if they don’t that’s ok . I also have realized that when I am not trying to please anyone except for God I actually like me too:)
Don’t worry what others think of you and go be who God made you to be.
Gelatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Thank you for reading and God bless you 🙂