Read: Proverbs 29:25
It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe. (Good News Bible)
Whose approval most matters to you? Maybe it’s vying for your parent’s approval that has tied you in knots. It could be you’re working overtime for the approval of your spouse, your children, your boss or your friends. Perhaps it’s your spiritual leader you’re hoping to impress.
The truth is, most of us are flat out approval addicts—and that’s not a healthy thing! In fact, it’s one of the greatest wastes of human energy on the planet.
Now understand, I’m not talking about a healthy appreciation for being affirmed. Encouragement is life-giving. But to live as a child of God means to live in freedom from the oppressive burden of man’s approval! It’s simply wasted emotional, relational and spiritual energy to order your life that way—and it’s counter-productive to righteousness, peace and joy.
The thing is, we worry more about what people are thinking about us than they actually think about us. Someone has noted that when you’re in your teens and 20’s, you live to please other people. When you’re in your 30’s and 40’s, you get fed up with trying to please them. When you’re in your 50’s and 60’s, you realize nobody was thinking about you anyway. When you’re in your 70’s and 80’s, you can’t even remember those people.
What people think of me has power only as I empower their opinion. Psychiatrist David Burns writes, “It’s not another person’s approval that makes me feel good. It’s my belief there’s validity to their approval or disapproval.”
Let me illustrate: Suppose you’re walking down the street and some whacked out weirdo grabs you and says, “I had a vision last night, and I was told that the 13th person to walk past me today would be a special messenger from God. You’re the 13th, so I know you are the chosen, the holy one, God’s gift to the world. Let me bow down and kiss your feet.”
Now would you base your identity on that? Would your self-esteem rise as a result of that? Of course not! Why? You considered the source. So here’s the deal: God is the one and only source for your real worth, and only his opinion truly matters! That’s what Proverbs 29:25 is saying. Here’s my translation of the verse,
“The fear of human opinion disables;
trusting in God keeps you stable.”
God alone is qualified to be your Judge. So don’t give worship to another’s opinion of you! And when you find yourself trying to impress people by what you wear, how you talk, what you know or what you do; if you find yourself wondering, “what do people think about me?” — just step back and remember one thing:
It is a waste to exert such energy to get what God has already given: His approval!
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on me, that I should
be called a child of God! And that is what I am!
~I John 3:1
Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:
Read Ephesians 1 and 2, then make a list of all the things you are, and have, in Jesus Christ.