Are You Selflessly Serving or Just People Pleasing?


Editor’s Note: Do you need sound, Biblically-based advice on an issue in your marriage or family?  Dr. David Hawkins, director of the Marriage Recovery Center, will address questions from Crosswalk readers in his weekly column. Submit your question toTheRelationshipDoctor@gmail.com.

Many seem to feel the freedom to tell us what we ought to think, how we ought to behave and even what we ought to feel. They know what’s best for us and exactly how we should live our lives.

These people are not evil, and I doubt that they have bad intentions. They are our sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers, neighbors and sit next to us in church. Having questionable boundaries, and believing they have special insight into our lives, they share freely with us.

Unfortunately, our boundaries are often no better. Being confused, we allow people to overly influence our decisions. We want their approval, and in some cases are desperate for it. We live from the outside in, according to other’s expectations, rather than from the inside out, according to our authenticity.

Living codependently, our minds get muddled. We become more confused about what we think, feel and want. Sometimes we even feel guilty tuning into our own desires, feeling selfish for having them. Hearing so many voices, we can’t distinguish those coming from ourselves, others or God. Simply put, there are too many people in our heads.

A recent email summarized many of these issues:

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