Fear of What People Think

by Jan Silvious

Do you worry about what other people think of you? Do you struggle with what someone else will do with your reputation?

I have always been slightly amused at folks who say things like "I would love to have a red dress, but what would people think?" Or "I could never live in a house in that neighborhood; people might think we were uppity." Jan SilviousOr "I couldn't possibly drive a new car; someone might think I was rich."

"What people think" is the bane of many folks' existence; in fact, it controls every move they make. The truth is that the only one you have to please is the Lord.

The Scriptures say to beware "when all men speak well of you" (Luke 6:26). So if you are living your life shadowed by what other people think or what other people say, then you are probably doing something wrong.

Of course, you must strike a balance. If you live your life only to please yourself and you don't care how it affects other people, that is just as dangerous. The balance, the happy medium, is found in the confidence of having the Lord's approval.

Do you remember the movie Chariots of Fire ? The main character, Eric Liddell, was a star runner who went against everyone's opinion and chose not to run on Sunday. There was quite a stir about it, but he didn't care. He had only one person to please, and that was the Lord.

In fact, his most famous line was, "When I run I feel His pleasure." He had no fear of what other people said about him because he was confident that he was pleasing to the Lord.

If you are sure that your heart belongs totally to the Lord and your greatest desire is to please Him, then you have no reason to fear other people's opinions. Everyone has an opinion, but God's is the only opinion that counts.

From The 5-Minute Devotional © Zondervan, 1991