Fear Of What Others Think — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Fear Of What Others Think — Morning Devotions

“We are not who we think we are. We are not who they think we are. We are who we think they think we are.” - Michael A. Greco

By Chris WittsFriday 3 Feb 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Are you the sort of person who worries what other people think of you? It seems a lot of people do. One of the most natural things that humans do is be afraid of what others think. Now you might think this affects you, but we can become so easily obsessed by what other people think. We are not what we think we are. We are not what others think we are. We are what we think others think we are. That’s a bit of a tongue twister, but there it is. Do you agree with that?

Sometimes. Were driven to please people. We hate to let people down and we hate to say no and we hate to have them not like us. And the reality is that for most of us we drift toward wanting to please people. What do you think of me? Do you Do you think I fit in and my cool enough? Do you like what I’m doing? Can I be part of your club? Can we be friends? It was William James who said the deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

Yeah, I think that’s true. We live with so many preoccupations about ourselves. Is my hair okay? Do these clothes make me look fat? Did I say the wrong thing? Did I offend them? Do they think I’m an idiot? Am I admired? People admire me. Most people spend a lot of time trying to please others. Now think about this. How much does the opinion of others influence what you do and what you say? Do you feel upset if someone’s got a bad impression of you? Or do you relive things in your mind imagining how you must have looked to other people? Often we become people. Please. Is this craving to be admired?

Yes. We define our lives often through the eyes of other people. We there is that need to be well liked. We want to be considered successful. Who wants to be a failure. And life becomes this big performance that every day is like an opening night. And we read the reviews to determine how we’re going.

So how does that work out? It was 1992 that Kerrin Lee Gartner of Calgary and Alberta became the first Canadian in history to win the Olympic gold in the women’s downhill race. So here it was a part of Olympic history. In 1992 in Canada, she became an overnight sensation, a wonderful athlete. And shortly after victory, an announcer interviewing her commented that this must surely be for her the most significant day of her life.

And to his surprise, Kerrin Lee said, no. The most significant day of my life was the day, my marriage of my marriage to my husband. But this ranks pretty high, too, you see, she wasn’t particularly worried about the externals. She knew what mattered. It’s not wrong to care about what other people think about us. It’s not wrong to want to be well thought of. In fact, the Bible says in Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favour is better than silver or gold.” So having a good reputation is, according to the Bible, a valuable thing to have. The fear of man is when we care too much about what other people think of us, and it’s a fear that’s two sided. On one side, it’s an oversized craving for that person’s approval. And on the other side, it’s an oversized fear that I’m going to be rejected.

Did you know that becoming obsessed with what people think about you is the quickest way for something else? And that is to forget what God thinks about you and which is the most important thing. I believe it’s far more important to ask the question. What does God think of me and the way I live? The Bible says that you don’t need to please everybody.

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Proverbs 29:25 from the Living Bible, says “it’s dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you.” I think that’s a great verse. Look it up. Proverbs 29:25. Why is it dangerous?

No matter what you do or how you try to be nice, you are. You can’t please everybody. It was Joyce Meyer, the author and speaker, who said, knowing who we are in Christ sets us free from the need to impress others.

Our desire for approval can only be met by receiving God’s acceptance and God’s approval of us.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, just for today I ask for patience and a sense of peace in my heart. It’s easy to get upset with other people and try to please others. I want Lord today to be understanding with every person I meet, even those that I don’t particularly like. Lord, I need your help today, amen.