You Can’t Win Them All

I have always hated the saying, “You can’t win them all.”

In the interest of transparency, I admit that I am a recovering people-pleaser. I hate the idea of offending or upsetting anyone. I sometimes lay awake at night wondering if I could have phrased something better or if I should have handled a situation differently. Years after a negative confrontation, I can still feel my ears heat up when I think about it.

All this to say, I very badly want to win them all. I want everyone to like me, even though I know that’s not a realistic expectation, especially when I share my personal thoughts on a public platform. That’s just the life of a blogger.

A few months ago, I received several negative comments on one of my blog posts, and it made me think about throwing in the towel. In fact, one commenter encouraged me to do just that.

If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

I remember praying that night and thinking that no matter what I said, I was going to offend someone, whether it was with my faith, my words, or my opinion. I knew that I couldn’t please everyone, but I still wanted to.

And God responded by giving me the image of a boat floating in the ocean.

If you are a fellow people-pleaser, maybe this message will help you, too:

Boats float on the water. They can be completely surrounded and still stay above the waves. They don’t sink until the water gets inside them.

What we let in matters.

What we choose to absorb, what we choose to let define us, it matters.

In Mark 4, Jesus calmed the storm. He spoke to the wind and the waves, and the water didn’t come into the boat.

When I let the Holy Spirit take control, I can withstand the storm. When I claim the identity Jesus gave me, the water can’t come in my boat. That disapproval or offense can’t touch me. The shame and the guilt that comes from letting someone down can’t interfere with the calling on my life. When Jesus is in my boat, my boat doesn’t sink.

It’s true that I can’t win them all, but I don’t need to. My job is simply to pursue Jesus and trust Him with the storm.

“Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink; May I be delivered from my foes and from the deep waters.”
–Psalm 69:14

8 Comments

  1. Becky Beresford

    Such a great reminder for my heart as well… a recovering people-pleaser too! Thank you for these words and for sharing your heart. It’s so hard as a blogger to put your story out there and then receive negative feedback or comments, But this boat analogy is beautiful! I’m gonna remember it for sure! Thank you.

    Becky Beresford

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stuart L. Tutt

    Jordan, thanks for sharing. I am the same way. I know I can’t please everyone with my thoughts, words…much less my actions. I do take in those “negative” words and allow them to fester…a little and then I’m like ok God here ya go. Now what?

    Then I keep doing what God has called me to do despite the naysayers.

    Like

  3. drriehl

    Such a great perspective. I hated that quote as well, but there is a place and time. It’s hard to get negative feedback, especially when it is out of context or out of character. Thanks for reminding all of us to stay strong and stay on our path!

    Like

  4. Christine Hope

    Recovering people pleaser here as well!
    Weathering the storm – isn’t that a great image? We aren’t called to calm the storm, we are called to weather it and let He who commands the winds and waves to do just that. I love it!
    Thank you for your words.

    Like

  5. Colleen Mitchell

    I like this image. In general, I like to keep the peace, but there are some topics I write about that are sure to ruffle feathers and I have to remind myself not to get caught up with any negative responses. I’m one of those people who feels the adrenaline and a rapid heartbeat whenever a Facebook fight breaks out! All at once it’s exhilarating and terrifying and sometimes I’ve got to let the other person have the last word because it’s not worth the energy to extend the fight.

    Like

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