Walking Away from Superwoman

I should not have been surprised when I opened Chapter 9 of A.W. Tozer’s “The Pursuit of God” and almost immediately found my conscience cut to the quick. But it’s been awhile since I’ve had an arrow of truth pierce me so deeply or so close to the “bulls-eye” of what’s going on in my life and my heart. I don’t exaggerate to see that it was almost physically painful to read this chapter.

This week’s chapter is on “meekness and rest.” And I have to tell you that I’m exhausted. And for the exact reasons that Tozer describes.

Tozer says, “The burden borne by mankind is a heavy and a crushing thing. The word Jesus used means a load carried or toil borne to the point of exhaustion.” (Tozer, 60)

That’s me.

He goes on to say, “The heart’s fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable.” (Tozer, 61)

This is me also. I’m a chronic people-pleaser. For years, I’ve had a recurring dream. I never remember the details of the dream – who I’m with or where I am – but each time, I wake up screaming, “What do you want from me?!” And each day, I walk through my life trying to give people whatever they want from me. At the end of the day, I have nothing left, because despite my trying to convince myself I’m Superwoman, I’m only human.

Why the heck is it so important to me to please everybody? The truth is, a lot of times, it’s selfish pride. I just want to be loved. And I’ve always believed that the only way I can receive love is to earn it. And the only way to earn it is to make people happy. And the way you make people happy is to never let them down. To always say yes. To never disappoint them.

But in the midst of my exhaustion, there is hope. Even in my frailty, God loves me. God is pleased with me – not because of anything I did or didn’t do, but merely because He created me. God doesn’t want me to DO anything. He just wants me to BE with Him.

Tozer says, “The rest He offers is the rest of meekness, the blessed relief that comes when we accept ourselves for what we are and cease to pretend.” (Tozer, 63)

One day at a time, I will learn to say no. I will learn that I don’t have to please everyone. I will learn to walk away from trying to be Superwoman, because God doesn’t love me for being Superwoman. He loves me for being Sarah.

Today’s post is part of our weekly discussion on AW Tozer’s classic, “The Pursuit of God.” If you have written a response to today’s post, please feel free to link it up at the widget below. Make sure to drop by my co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen’s place to see what he has to say!

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!


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  1. I can attest, people pleasing wears you out! Jesus pleasing brings comfort and rest. Why is it so easy to lean towards the one, and not the other? I wish I had an answer as I have the same struggles. But thankfully we have the perfect model to follow in Jesus.

  2. Well, it appears I am a week behind as I thought we were still in chapter 8. I only now remember the week I did not participate. #sigh. This old brain ain’t what it used to be.

    I am definitely not superman.

  3. I know the struggle well. I’ve been “in progress” in this area for quite a while. Funny how the acquaintances and people who supported least got all the “yes’s” (because I thought everybody should like me) and the closest people and family who supported most got the “no’s” more often. That’s messed up! But that’s pride. So thankful that His humility is not subject to the whims and fickle attitudes of people. It’s an easy yoke. Thanks Sarah.

  4. Oh girl. So true. I believe He created us for love and then in our innate desire to experience love, we, in our human-ness, turn it into some twisted, desperate thing. And that is when it becomes this sick people-pleasing thing. I am guilty too. Why is it so hard for us to accept that God can love us without condition? I imagine it has something to do with the face that we live in a world that is so “conditional”–IF you do “this” for me, “then” I’ll love you/be your friend/do what you want me to do/etc. How beautiful is the fact that there is NOTHING we can do to make Him love us more…or less. What freedom!

  5. Sarah Salter says:

    Frank, I think that people-pleasing is more of an “instant gratification” whereas pleasing God sometimes requires us to wait to reap the blessings. I’ll bet there’s some other reasons, too… But that’s the first that comes to mind. Thanks for visiting and commenting! Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Sarah Salter says:

    Dusty, it happens to the best of us, man. No worries. I have to double-check every week to make sure I’m on track. 😉

  7. Sarah Salter says:

    That’s a fantastic point, Jason! How many times have I said “no” to someone God wanted me to say “yes” to because I was busy fulfilling a “yes” God would have preferred I said “no” to?! (Did that make as much sense written out as it did in my head? Ha!)

  8. Sarah Salter says:

    Joell, that reminds me of a friend I had in college. We would go out to eat and if I offered to pay for her, she would say no because she didn’t want to owe me. If I did give her a gift, she kept track so she could “pay” me back. But I wasn’t doing it for that! Love doesn’t keep a “tab”!

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