Do you fear man?
By that, I’m asking if you find you care too much about what people think. Do you worry they might think the wrong thing about you? Are you concerned that once you open your mouth, they won’t like you?
Even more, do you fear the judgment of man to the point that you crave their approval more than God’s?
Sometimes, I am more concerned about the approval of those around me than I am about God’s approval of me. That is so destructive. You see, when we do that… when we invert the approval pyramid… we put ourselves in bondage.
- We don’t share who we really are because we are certain it’s not good enough.
- We refuse to try something new for fear of being judged.
- We don’t speak into someone’s life because we’re worried it may sound stupid.
- We get too wrapped up in needing verbal affirmations from others.
- We find that we are easily offended and hurt when we don’t get the response we want or need.
- We develop unrealistic expectations of others.
- We tend to go from happy to sad to happy to sad quickly and often.
And when we live our lives like this, we become ineffective for the Kingdom. By standing in agreement with those statements (or some variation of them), we get caught in a trap that shuts us down.
God warns us of this.
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety. (Proverbs 29:25)
He’s telling us that when we trust Him and look to Him for approval, we find a safe place. It liberates us. Rather than being in bondage, we are free to be who we were created to be… and ultimately feel comfortable in our own skin.
So how do you stop letting man define you and instead allow God to validate you? I guess that’s the million dollar question.
For me, it’s a constant battle. Here’s what I do to help get my thought-life back on track:
- I throw a pity-party and decide I hate everyone.
- Then I come up for air and seek out a friend to talk to and who will call it out in me. (a very annoying yet necessary step)
- I pray about it as often as it pops into my mind.
- I read what the Bible has to say about it:
- I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 56:11)
- The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? (Psalm 118:6)
- But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. (Jeremiah 17:7)
- I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27)
- So we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
Sisters, we cannot expect flawed humans to fix us. We can’t look to them for validation. They cannot accurately gauge our value and worth.
That ability rests only with your Creator.
Smile, because you are loved perfectly by your Heavenly Father and your life brings Him such pleasure. Stop looking to the world because they cannot give you what you need.
The world will never satisfy.