When was the last time you let others’ opinions of you lead you to do something foolish? Many times, we allow others’ opinions to have control over our thoughts and actions.
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety. Proverbs 29:25
You can see there’s a big difference between fearing people and trusting God.
When you fear God you fear nothing else, but if you do not fear God you fear everything else.
When we fear others’ opinions, we will…Wear ourselves out trying to impress people.
In Luke 10, Jesus is visiting his good friends. Mary sits down and talks with Jesus while Martha gets right to work making everything perfect. Jesus tells Martha, “I appreciate you working so hard to impress me, but I really want you to do is spend time with me.”
When we’re caught up in what people think about us, we can be like Martha, staying busy, feeling anxious and stressed out.
Quit doing what God wants us to do.
In 1 Kings 19:3, Elijah gets a death threat from the wicked Jezebel and it causes him to stop working and doing God’s will out of the fear of one person’s negative opinion.
Not stand for what is right.
In the New Testament, some leaders argued that being a Christian also meant following all of the Old Testament laws. When Paul said you didn’t have to follow all of those old rules like diet and rituals to be a part of God’s family, Peter had a hard time taking a stand with Paul, even though he knew what was right. He crumbled under peer pressure.
Disqualify ourselves from leading others.
A great example of this is King Saul in the Old Testament. Because of his fear of public opinion, he started making compromises that eventually led to the end of his leadership. As a leader, you are either a thermometer that reflects the temperature of its surroundings, or a thermostat that changes the temperature of the room.
Compromise our integrity.
Even though Pilate found nothing that he could legally sentence Jesus to death for, he allowed the crowd to influence his decision. Even though he ‘washed his hands” of the situation, he was still responsible for the part he played. It’s no excuse to say, “Everyone else was doing it.”
Be in danger of missing Jesus.
In John 12:43, we see many of the spiritual leaders of Jesus’ day actually wanted to believe in Jesus, but they were afraid of what others’ would think of them.
The way to find freedom from peoples’ opinions of you is to:
Ask for God’s help.
Psalm 34:4 says, “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.”
Ask for others’ to help you by praying for you.
Look for God’s help all around you.
Think about this the next time you feel pressure to please someone or to please a group of people rather than trying to fear and please God. Put your trust in God instead of what others think of you. Isn’t it great to know the one who knows you the best, loves you the most!