#112: Overcoming People Pleasing [Podcast]

In this week’s episode, we want to tackle the monster of people pleasing, a twisted dysfunction that distorts what genuine care and service to others should be.

When people pleasing is in our lives, the opinions, needs and perspectives of others feel like demands on us. We feel torn between what we know to be right and what others around us think.  

People pleasing keeps us tied in guilt to toxic people and relationships. Their sin issues and opinions will manipulate our minds if we are not discerning. People pleasing will never allow you to remain in peace and rest. It’s always taking a poll of how someone else or groups of people feel about you, your decisions and actions. People pleasing makes what other people think your main assessment for the day. When they are upset, people pleasing makes you take on their issues, driving you with a compulsive need to do something about it, like it is your problem.

Take a poll in any family, church and organization: most would agree that we should not live our lives trying to please other people. Yet this infectious pattern is everywhere!

Unloading the burden of people-pleasing is so freeing, but it takes time to walk into the healthier mode. For most people, it takes them quite a while to realize they even are people pleasers. But once they recognize it, if they have the courage, they  begin peeling it off, like layers of an onion. Ditching people-pleasing is like losing 20 pounds. You feel relieved, lighter and more energetic!

In this episode, we will address:

  • Mark and Melissa’s personal battles with overcoming people pleasing
  • What it does and how it steals our identity and joy.
  • Signs You Are a People Pleaser
  • Getting to the root of the problem so we can overcome.


Overcoming People Pleasing


#112- Overcoming People Pleasing [Podcast] You Tube Video

Podcast Transcript

Mark:  My journey into vocational paid staff ministry started very young. I have a history of pastoral experience. I’m not in pastoral ministry now, but spent a great deal of years, a good 16-17 years, specifically in pastoral work on a staff and then also as a lead pastor. I found that because I was thrusted into ministry very early … I was hired on staff right out of high school to oversee a youth ministry. To be …

Melissa: So actually almost 20 years

Mark:  Well …

Melissa:  Because you were 17 …

Mark:  Well, I’m saying because a big portion of that has been doing what we’re doing now and doing itinerant ministry or establishing Turning Hearts Ministries, things like that. In total it’s been almost 22 years of full-time work, of vocationally helping people and those kind of things. We’re all in full-time ministry, and I hope people understand that.

Melissa:  That’s true. That’s true.

Mark:  It’s not like I’m in ministry and because you work insurance, you’re not. No. Mine looks different than yours.

Melissa: Right.

Mark:  Anyways, I started off so young and I don’t regret it. It was an amazing opportunity. I’ve shared that story, I think, in past episodes, but one of the things that I had to deal with was that I didn’t have time to process who I am. I jumped in and, to find approval, high performance was kicked into high gear. I started off as a youth pastor, and when you pastor teenagers, really what you’re doing is you’re working with families. You’re working with parents. You think at first you’re just kind of ministering to the next generation, and you are, but the most effective way is through the filter of the family. I did something very successful in youth ministries. One of the first steps I did is I called, on the phone, some of the key … This was back when you made phone calls …

Melissa: Right. When you actually talked to people on the phone? Woo.

Mark:  Yeah. I actually called many of the key parents. When I say key parents, you know, of kids that attended regularly and were invested. I had a list of questionnaires and I really asked them what are the needs of your child, what are the concerns you have, what are the things that … And I began to get their heart, and it really helped propel the ministry in a great way, but, this is where it’s so subtle: You want to keep everyone happy.

Melissa: Yeah.

Mark:  There were things that I did where the church gave me just great freedom to do what I needed to do. I was using videos before videos were cool. I was using certain music, I was using certain songs, and some of it was a little bit edgy. To put it in perspective, to put it at the time, playing DC Talk’s Jesus Freak was considered edgy, okay? It was like, whoa. I remember there were some times I would be leaving, Jesus Freak is playing while the kids are leaving, and the parent is drilling me in the hallway. How dare you use this kind of music?

I have a posture. How do you have a posture there? Well, some people say get over it. Some people would say I’m so sorry, I’m going to write you an apology letter and I’ll never play that song again. Other people would have to sit in a board meeting the next day or get called into the pastor’s office. There’s all these different dynamics and things that tugs. In that moment, I was able to stand in a healthy place where it’s like, listen I get what you’re saying but I need you to understand where I’m taking the youth group, and if you don’t understand that, it may not be the best place for Johnny because we’re going to play music that connects to their world, we’re going to insert powerful lyrics, make sure the lyrics are healthy and good, we’re going to give messages that are dynamic. Then there was such a trail of people-pleasing that filled my life.

There were board members at the church that did not have a perception that I could pull it off. They were like, he’s too young. The pastor made a really unorthodox decision to bring me on to replace a college-graduate, seasoned youth pastor who had left, and they took a big risk with me. They saw the call of God on my life. It was very hard to process, as an 18-year-old, having a 45-year-old parent being upset with you.

Melissa: Yeah.

Mark:  Then I had youth workers old enough to be my parents. It was a very challenging thing that, I have to say, took me a long time after I left that, even when I started Turning Hearts Ministries.

Then we had a season of planting a church. It came back again. We’re dealing with people in an intense manner. We’re helping them through their struggles. We’re helping them deal with deep heart issues. We’re not the shallow-end church. When you come in, we’re going to invite you into the deep end, and deep end meaning we’re going to deal with your stuff, in love. God’s going to do it. Boy, it would just bring out stuff sometimes where people put a demand on me to be almost like their biological father; like they turned into a kid who needs me to be their physical dad every day. Boy, the people-pleasing would pull on me. I found that I had to really deal with this face-to-face. Who am I, how do I deal with the opinions of people, and how do I really get free from that. God had to show me. If you want to really love people, you can’t be tied to their opinion of how they think about you, and that’s a tricky place to really get into practically.

Melissa: That’s very true. My goodness. Well, I can share a little bit of what I struggle with in that area. Would you like me to?

Mark:  Yeah, of course. This is a show of you and I.

Melissa: I think that for me how that manifested is a lot different from yours, actually. For me, I really just wanted people to, obviously, not be mad at me, to like me–as you’re sharing–but mine would come in conversations. I think for me, a lot, if I’m in a conversation and we’re talking about something intense with somebody … I know I had a friend that this would happen a lot; I never wanted to argue with this friend. I think, at the end of the day, if I was to really–which I have–as you analyze it, you never really feel safe with somebody. That was at the core of it, that I felt like if I fought with the person I would lose the friendship. If any conversations took a twist or a turn, I would insert jokes, I would steer the conversation to please them in whatever they were doing and affirm them to try to deflect from the core conversation we were having. I would move really hard into trying to make them laugh, please them, not get them upset, so that I didn’t lose the friendship.

Mark:  Right. It makes us very peace-keeping in our mindset, like don’t go to certain places because I don’t want to rock the boat.

Melissa: Exactly. Yeah, I think a lot of people can relate to what we’ve both gone through in this way. Sometimes when you share about the pressure that was on you at 17 years old, I go oh my gosh, that’s a lot for someone to go through. I think a lot of people that are listening can relate, where you are maybe not as equipped as you want to be in situations where you are thrust in to dealing with people at a high level and you don’t have a hundred percent security in who you are, how you’re walking, you know?

Mark:  Right.

Melissa: Yucky junk is going to leak out in how you’re processing stuff out with people.

Mark:  That’s right.

Melissa: It’s very hard. You and I have talked about this a lot in the past, and something I think they need to be teaching in schools, is conflict resolution. A lot of it does go down to that, like you’re saying, parents are coming to you and what are you drawing from. There are great leadership books and there are all those things, but really, at the end of the day, it’s confronting how do you feel about yourself, how secure are you in resolving conflict and stating the truth. You’re saying we need more people speaking truth. It’s huge.

Mark:  Yeah, and it’s hard for many reasons, but even when I was … I would have somebody come with me. I’d have a parent come and they’d want to argue about tithing or something like that. I’m like, I’m just trying to help your kids fall in love with God and let them know they’re loved. Why are you arguing with me? Then you’d have these weird conversations and arguments and you find yourself putting in a place where you’re dealing with trying to keep someone happy but yet you’re still figuring out what you believe. You know what I mean? I think that that’s a big thing in relationships is that we’re still figuring out our stuff and we don’t give each other room to evolve and to grow.

Melissa: That’s such a good statement.

Mark:  To be able to make mistakes. I think a healthy church or a healthy business and a healthy family frees people to make those strong decisions and respect the fact that even if I don’t agree with you, you’re not necessarily making me happy, I respect your making a strong decision. Everybody in the Bible, in order for them to break through, they couldn’t be people-pleasers.

Melissa: That’s true.

Mark: There’s no way that Peter could stand up on the day of Pentecost, there’s no way that Jesus would look at the Pharisees and go, “You brood of vipers,” with people-pleasing.

Melissa: True, so why don’t we help people understand some of the signs of people-pleasing?

Mark:  I have this in the book. I just pulled this out and I recommend this book to all of you. It’s called Exposing The Rejection Mindset. This will help you to uncover and unravel many of the things that we’re talking about here because there’s a whole chapter, in fact half of a chapter, that’s devoted just to this subject of people-pleasing, keeping people happy, and all of these things that we get caught into.

I have 10 signs that I actually put in here, and I’ll go through them real quickly. You can get the book for yourself and go through it. It’s even a blog post that we can link in the show notes.

You try too hard to be seen as always doing the right thing.

You have a constant pulse of how others are feeling about you and how it deeply affects you.

When around other people, you tend to outwardly come into agreement with whatever is being said even if inwardly you don’t.

Melissa:  Oh, I know that bad boy.

Mark:  I was going to say, you can talk about that one. We talk about that one a lot.

Melissa: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Mark:  There’s no voice there.

Melissa: So true.

Mark:  There’s an episode of The Office where …

Melissa:  Wait, let’s pause a moment of silence. The Office.

Mark:  Yeah, great show. There are so many great allegories that you can pull out. There is a moment where Angela is talking to Pam and Angela is saying something, I can’t remember the exact statement, but they’re both talking and they’re both nodding and Angela says something like not all of us are as da-da-da as you, and Pam’s like, wait, what?

Melissa: Oh, I remember that.

Mark:  She was in autopilot, shaking her head, like yep, yep, yep, because that’s our default setting is that I just want to agree with everything you say. There’s a deeper level of relationship. That means I love you whether we agree or don’t.

Melissa: Yeah, that’s very true.

Mark:  There’s a place of I don’t have to please you. The problem is where are we getting it from? You have to please someone, and we’ll get to that in just a second.

Melissa: Okay. Yes, yes.

Mark:  You have a hard time keeping personal boundaries.

You tend to play to the opinion of who you’re talking to at the moment.

Receiving criticism is hard to process. Boy, especially when you get whacked.

Melissa: I feel like people don’t know how to give constructive … Is the word right, constructive criticism? Or loving criticism, like in a way of You know what, can we talk about something. People just either want to go, Well I’m going to tell them and slam them. That’s tough because it’s sometimes a criticism.

Mark:  I think for every one thousand pieces of criticism I’ve gotten, five of them were really healthy.

Melissa: And loving.

Mark:  Yeah. Most of the time it’s like, oh man, that was harsh.

Melissa: I want to stress this, because we’ve talked about this before, just before we jump to the other ones. If you are thinking I need to talk to that person, you need to come at it from a place of love. If somebody is not willing to receive it from you, it doesn’t mean it’s something wrong with them. It may mean that they don’t think you’re a safe person.

Mark:  Yeah, it’s true. Before we get into those arenas of those kind of discussions, there needs to be an avenue of safety and a sense of I want to grow with you and go through this.

Melissa: Right. That’s great.

Mark: You have a hard time making tough decisions, especially ones that won’t please everyone. I remember I made a decision that was a tough decision, and one of the parents didn’t like it and so they were constantly on my radar. I would even, in certain situations, go out of my way to talk to them to try to explain.

Melissa: Right. Do the dance for them.

Mark:  What was the end goal? Tell me that you like me.

Melissa: Yeah. I’m okay. I’m okay with you.

Mark:  Tell me that you approve. Tell me that we’re good. It’s amazing how that rejection creeps in there.

You have a hard time saying no, especially without giving twenty reasons why. Classic example …

Melissa: Or coming up with a lie.

Mark:  Right.

Melissa: I’ve done that before.

Mark:  Can you come to my party, and the answer is well, I really can’t because I have a lot going on and this thing with my kids and I have to do this. It’s like, you know what? We just can’t make it. I’m sorry about that.

Melissa: You’ve actually done really well with that. I always feel like I have to give …

Mark:  Well, I’m getting delivered.

Melissa: The litany of details.

Mark:  I have a long ways to go.

Melissa:  Like, I have to drive down 84 and we have to do this and by the time I get back and, yeah. Oh, are you okay with me still? Yeah. Anyway.

Mark:  Yeah, because we all have a sign on our head that says love me, love me.

Melissa:  Accept me.

Mark:  Say that you love me. You know? It’s just there. When you’re not affirmed by others, you become depressed.

Melissa: Oh my gosh, it wipes you out.

Mark:  You know?

Melissa: That’s a whole other episode, too.

Mark:  There is a level to this because you see somebody like Elijah come under Jezebel …

Melissa: I was just going to say, that’s a whole other episode. Right.

Mark:  And he’s like, in the book of Kings, he’s like, I just want to die. He’s so beat up and overwhelmed by that.

You spend too much time trying to do things for other people who don’t take the help you bring and change.

A real big sign of people-pleasing that didn’t make the list, but it’s true, is that you are drained, burned out and exhausted. Somewhere, you are trying to please. Now, you may be trying to please an invisible person. That could be your parent who’s passed away. It could be somebody who’s not even really in your life. You’re still trying to please your dad, trying to please your mom.

Melissa: That’s a really great point.

Mark:  It’ll never, ever satisfy until that thing gets filled by God. Otherwise, people will become idols. When we get sucked into the tractor beam of the pulse of how someone feels, it occludes us, covers us, from hearing and seeing God’s approval. He says I’m pleased with you already. Already. Right now. Today. I’m please with you right now.

Melissa: Yeah, and it really goes back to that at the end of the day.

Mark:  Yeah, so I think that what I’d like to do is take a quick break and then come back and talk about getting out of this damage and beginning to land the plane. Want to do that?

Melissa: Excellent.

When we look at this, there’s a lot of damage that happens. There’s a bunch that I talk about in the book, but one of them that sticks out to me, and you can share the one that maybe sticks out to you, is there’s a loss of identity in this. We deal so much with people that have no sense of who they are. They’ve spent their whole life lost in a sea of helping a family member. We see people-pleasing so bad in families. We see it so bad in churches and businesses. You’re just spending your whole life yes sir, yes sir, in a slave mode. You lose who you are. Then at the end of the day, the absolute joy of life gets sucked out of you.

Melissa:  Yeah. That’s what I actually was going to say. The word joy is actually hitting the heart of what I was feeling, is the lack of joy that ends up becoming the lack of peace.

When I think of myself in situations where I didn’t feel safe, I didn’t feel secure in who I was, I felt like I had to please the person, and sometimes there’s just some nasty ties you have with people. I could operate so healthy with one person and literally turn to this old friend and completely lose who I was because I had a bad tie. We can talk about that, too, in future episodes. I had a really, really bad tie with this person that literally would make me lose the Missy that I am today in five seconds, when I got into a conversation with them. I used to beat myself up for it. What’s wrong with me? I’m not secure enough in who I am. No, no, no. That’s just the enemy messing with you. I am secure. I know who I am. I need to just tear this thing down and break this pattern of what’s going on with this person. I don’t have to please them.

Mark:  That’s right. I think that in order to really face that, we have to face where, in our relationship with our mother and father, that pattern was established where we felt the need to please them and there were these gaps where it just didn’t land. Parents need to instill an aspect of unconditional love so that performance isn’t the gauge. What you do isn’t a gauge. If you live in a home that’s highly critical, you’ll be very prone to people-pleasing because the criticism tells you you didn’t get it right, you need to change your life and your system to appease the standard I set for you.

Melissa: Right, or in homes where not just they’re picking at you, but if you watch your parents or people around you constantly picking at others and noticing … I knew people years ago, and I know I’ve even done this myself, where they would notice every little thing that would go on in a room. I mean every little thing. Then when I was around them, I would think oh they noticed the way I moved my shirt, oh they noticed I wiped my nose. I became so hyper-self-aware of myself, it was crazy.

Mark:  Yeah, absolutely.

Melissa:  I would do everything to either acknowledge it and do self-deprecation like, “I’m fun, oh look at me, I just did that.” To try to be, “Oh see, do you still like me? Because I noticed I just did that.” It just got into a web of insanity and, again, stole every ounce of peace that I had.

Mark:  That’s right. That’s right. I think that in order to reset this, we have to recognize we have the problem and then we need to establish where approval comes from. This is where we have to dig deep in our journey of letting Father God show us through His word, show us in who He is, that we are approved right now. There’s nothing that we can do to make Him love us more or less. It became a daily declaration for me. It’s like I talked about last week. God, you love these people more than I could ever love them. There’s no pressure.

I found what broke through for me is addressing the guilt factor. Guilt is a very big driving force when it comes to people-pleasing. It camouflages and counterfeits as though it is the Holy Spirit like, You need to think about this, they’re not happy, and maybe they’re right. All these things that then torment you. God is not in that torment. There’s so much more freedom in God than we realize. He’s not nit-picking on all these little issues with us. I had to get free from that guilt, though. I had to get free from …

Melissa: Or how people saw you.

Mark:  How people see me, then becoming a major influence. I remember times where even in church … There was a season of my life, a number of years, where I was the head of music and worship and all that in church. There were certain songs I would do and–at the time, my parents were attending–and I would look out and I could see my mom. I could tell she didn’t like the song I was doing, and it would affect me. It would go right down through my body. Then there would be certain times where I’m like, oh I know my mom will like this song, and I’d whip out a hymn.

Melissa: Everyone else in church is asleep.

Mark:  Sing the one just love of Jesus. Do something like that. I remember one time … Mom, I love you, but I remember one time I came home and she was like, “Now that’s a worship song.” Right?

Melissa: Oh, yeah.

Mark:  Then it creates an embedding of that mindset.

Melissa:  Because you got a rush from that. Oh, she approved of me!

Mark:  For ten seconds.

Melissa: Okay, when we go into physiology and all that, your brain got a high from that and went I likey that, I like to feel that way.

Mark:  Correct.

Melissa:  I need to feel that again. I need to feel that love again, and approval.

Mark:  Yeah, so let’s avoid any pain and just keep moving towards pleasure as much as possible. The pleasure of that …

Melissa: Approval.

Mark:  Approval, but then the next week it’d go and …

Melissa:  And it’s an insatiable monster that’s never full.

Mark:  Yeah, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet and it never gets full. You’re right. I’ve had to first identify that guilt factor. I had to really see I’m trained by guilt. I am seeing guilt as the Holy Spirit, and I began to unwind that and really get free from seeing that that was what was talking to me a lot. Fear of man, intimidation, was a part of the equation.

Melissa: That’s a huge one.

Mark:  I’ve gone through probably about three or four major stages of deliverance from fear of man, that God’s freed me, and they were usually big moments, to propel me to a new level. I want to make this clear. When you get free from people-pleasing, you don’t just walk around and go, “Well you guys just deal with it, idiots.” I see people like that in the church, where they kind of go around with their feathers and they’re like, “Because I don’t care what people think.” Because we understand how people tick in a lot of these things, when you’re declaring I don’t care what people think, it’s because …

Melissa: You really do care what people think.

Mark:  Because if you don’t, you wouldn’t even need to bring it up. I’ve met people who really don’t care what people think, in a really good way.

Melissa: Right. In a very healthy …

Mark:  They never say it, you just look at them and you go … I was meeting with a guy last week and I was like, oh my goodness. He really gets daddy love. His dad loved him. He really understands his identity, and there was just not a shrivel of …

Melissa:  Like, yeah, it didn’t work out, so we’ll move on. Yeah. Like, can I be like you? You’re my idol.

Mark:  Yeah. They’re mad at me, but what are you going to do. They’re upset, they left the church.

Melissa:  It’s the best way to live.

Mark:  What are you going to do. We did our best, we loved them, we did everything we can. Okay, so you don’t walk around slapping people. You love them. Here’s what broke it free: I have to disconnect my state of being from their sinful, dysfunctional, yucky perspective that they’re giving into. Did you catch that?

Melissa:  Yes. It’s good.

Mark:  I have to disconnect that, because I was connected to it. Oh, you’re upset because you don’t like this. Even though I know that’s a bad perspective, I’m tied into doing something about it. If you disconnect that, now you can position yourself in a healthy way where the Holy Spirit can move and operate, and the doors are opened. Where it’s like I’m open to be a part of the change, I’m open to being available, but when you’re a people-pleaser, you’re hard-wired into their position.

Melissa:  Then you start thinking about them all the time. What am I going to say when I see them again.

Mark:  It’s crazy.

Melissa: It becomes an idol.

Mark:  Crazy.

Melissa: It really becomes an idol.

Mark:  You can go mentally ill.

Melissa: You really can. I think a lot of people struggle with this.

Mark:  Right. Do you think this affects couples a lot?

Melissa: Oh, absolutely.

Mark:  You know, not to get on a whole marriage tangent, but I’ve been helping a lot of people understand this concept and I’m working hard at trying to bring clarification to it. One of the biggest things that helped me to get free in our marriage was when I disconnected you having–I want to say this so people understand it–you having the keys to my identity and who I am. It’s very tricky because your opinion does matter to me, because I know you love me and I know you have my best interests at heart, but there was a season when we first got married where I was pinball bouncing between how you felt about me and hedging and acting a certain way. I was like, what is this? I realized there is an idol there of needing you to feel a certain way about me and I’m going to adjust to that. There’s a codependency there. Those kind of things.

Melissa:  Oh, yeah, and if you remember, I had to battle that big time when we were pastoring. I would open service a lot of the time and begin …

Mark:  You would look to me like radar for how I felt.

Melissa: Oh, and it was every Sunday, as soon as I was done, I would look over. Usually, you were to my right, and I would look over to see if you were going to give me, like, good job. If you were either thinking about service or praying, I took that as you did not like what happened.

Mark:  Most of the time I would be like …

Melissa:  You were like, why are we even talking about it.

Mark:  Picking my nose, or I’m …

Melissa:  You were praying or talking to somebody, whatever.

Mark:  I’m relieved that I didn’t have to carry the service at that moment. I was just like, okay, let me just gather my thoughts.

Melissa:  Mm-hmm (affirmative), and I went into this grandiose thing of you just don’t want to tell me, you didn’t like, and we would get into some fights because I needed … I had to really deal with that.

Mark:  Yeah, and I find that our marriage has gotten so much better the more that we disconnect that. It’s tricky because it’s not saying I don’t care what you think and I’m not listening to anything you say. No, it’s that there’s a key to my heart, the key to my identity, that only God can have and hold and lock in. Even as a man, I can’t have my wife give me the validation of my identity. That comes from my father, especially my Father in heaven. My earthly father needed to establish that, and we understand that, but that’s a key place. I got to find my identity.

All you chronic people-pleasers, you’re going to have to walk this thing out, and at times it will feel excruciating, but you have to have a compass that says I’m going to do whatever it takes to be healthy. I cannot be tied like this. Some families are ruled by people-pleasing.

Melissa:  Oh my goodness, yeah.

Mark:  They’re just going to stay in that dysfunction, and that’s fine, but if you want to go to a higher level and hear from God … People say, well I can’t hear God. Right, because your mother-in-law is screaming in your ears. Forgive me because I always say mother-in-law, and my mother-in-law goes, “Hey.” Your father-in-law. Whatever it is that’s drowning out the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Melissa:  Yeah, because we have to look at it for what it is. You’re making someone else’s thoughts about you higher than what God says about you.

Mark:  That’s right.

Melissa: At the end of the day, that’s what it is and it is an idol, and we need to tear those down. You need to look at your relationships, okay, and say am I doing this? Where am I doing this? Where am I not feeling secure? That person’s an idol to me, their opinions are an idol to me. I just repent for that, Lord, and I look to you to say who I am.

Mark:  That’s right.

Melissa:  I’m your kid. I’m your son, I’m your daughter, I’m approved. From the foundations of the earth, I am approved.

Mark:  Every day that has to be affirmed and established. It must be a habitual thing. Every day, before I get out there, I’m going to let God affirm me.

Melissa: Yeah. One thing that is really amazing, and I think if you want to end on this, for people. When we do ministry sessions with people and we’re helping them to connect to that and to connect to God, we have them put their hand on their heart. It puts a focus like, God I need you to speak to my heart right now. I need to receive in my heart right now who you say I am.

Mark:  That’s right.

Melissa: I am accepted, I am loved, I am safe.

Mark:  That’s right.

Melissa: We have this statement that we have people make that I think is so powerful. I have what it takes to overcome. I just encourage everyone to do that today. Put your hand on your heart, speak those words of affirmation, repent for those idols in your life, cast them off, and really receive who God says that you are today. You’re safe, you’re secure, you are loved.

Mark:  It’s important that there be a culture that supports this. I just want to say this to people, because a lot of people think that because you and I are married, they think this. I know this. I know you, watching and listening, well they have each other.

Melissa: Yes, and we hear that a lot.

Mark:  I want you to understand. Getting free from this was not because I was married to Melissa. It took hard work and investment of letting God, and focusing my daily walk on His love for me, and going through the deep oceans. Sometimes drowning in the people-pleasing and then coming up out of it. It’s something you have to make as a decision, even as people are supportive or not supportive of it. I know there’s a lot of guilt-ridden Christians that suck on the people-pleasing and go, “Well you should probably go talk to them, or maybe you should stay in that.” Beware of those people because they will …

Melissa:  Yeah. Stay away from advice, a lot of the time, from people.

Mark:  Especially when it’s guilt-ridden advice.

Melissa:  Yes.

Mark:  Anyways. Be free in this, folks.


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Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles, including, teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, leading and mentoring. Mark's deepest love is his family; his wife Melissa, son Maximus and daughter Abigail. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many communication mediums, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. His deepest call involves equipping people to live as overcomers. Through understanding inside out transformation, Mark's message involves getting to the root of issues that contribute to the breakdown of our relationships, our health and our day to day peace. He is passionately reaching his world with a transforming message of love, healing and freedom. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and Melissa founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for Mark’s teachings, writing and broadcasts that are designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation. Mark and Melissa currently live in Connecticut.

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