Throughout my life I have allowed myself to be used as a doormat. A “doormat” is a submissive person who allows others to dominate them. There are times in my life and relationships where I have allowed others to treat me unfairly or poorly in hopes of getting them to love me more or obtain more of their attention. I was always taught that putting others needs and wants ahead of my own was honorable and noble. What I did not understand is serving a person is honorable and is the highest form of love, but that being a doormat for others was a lack of love of myself and ultimately a lack of love for others. It has not served others or myself well.
A thought that I have pondered and struggled with is being a servant verses a doormat. Being a servant is a main theme in the Bible and as beautiful as it sounds I do not want to be a doormat. After lots of prayer and reading I have come to understand the difference and there is a BIG difference.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”-Galatians 5:13
Many of us fear that serving people leaves us vulnerable and leaves us open to be taken advantage of. While others, serve people as a form of manipulation.
A servant does things for God.
A doormat does things for people or self.
A servant see’s themselves as an instrument of God.
A doormat see’s themselves as a victim.
A servant is free.
A doormat lives as a slave.
When we serve others with the understanding and design of God we serve because of our love for God. We serve because God freed us and we want to see others freed by His love as well and that is shown by serving others.
When we become a doormat for others we are usually doing so to get something out of it: ei: I let my boyfriend stay out all night without any consideration for me or I accept him calling me names because I don’t want to lose him. I will put up with all he does even if it hurts me because I want to keep him. So being a doormat is really not noble or truly loving someone, it actually is the opposite. It’s putting up with poor treatment to gain something from that person.
The Bible says, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’(Mark 12:31). Do you see that? How you love your neighbor is really a direct reflection of how you love yourself. So if you’re allowing yourself to be treated as a doormat, you believe you are and should be treated as a doormat.
So how do you know the difference?
If you are serving there will be no feelings of resentment or feeling taken advantage of, because you are serving for God and with the right mindset and motives. On the other hand if you are allowing yourself to be treated as doormat you will feel resentful, used and taken advantage of. You will be doing things out of obligation, with the wrong motives usually self-serving (though you usually won’t see it that way).
Take inventory of your feelings and motives. Forgive yourself and others and release them. You are loved and accepted no matter where you may be right now. Let HIM meet you where you are. Every one of you is important to the kingdom, so put your crowns back on, throw your shoulders back and act accordingly to what God says about you!