Hi everyone! I’m sorry I’m not able to write nearly as often as I used to due to significant changes in my life. However, from time to time, I will endeavor to share precious life lessons that I gather along the way.
Today I’d like to write about living life for God and God alone. How many of us are tired of seeking the approval of others? How many are fed up by being swayed by our peers? How many have had to betray their convictions in order to fit in with the crowd? How many have kept their faith quiet so as not to be tagged weird or rejected by others? If you are anything like me, you will have suffered from approval addiction at one stage of your life.
The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high. – Proverbs 29:25.
There is tremendous freedom in the realization that every breath, every act and every thought of ours should be made with an audience of One in mind. We should aim to live for God and not the crowd, no matter what the consequences may be.
Frankly speaking, I have learnt that in the long-run, the only opinion that truly counts and the only approval we should seek is God’s. Why? For various reasons I would say but one that makes a lot of sense is that man is flawed and mortal. The opinions of men are temporary and often subject to change. Why build your whole life around such uncertainty? The scripture above tells us that when we lean on, trust in, and put our confidence in God, we will be safe and set on high. That’s the kind of approval I seek. The kind that actually matters.
Let me ask you a question? Who was the TIME man/woman of the year in 2007? Some of you may remember the answer but I bet the majority don’t. The point I’m trying to make is that in the eyes of men, one can go from hero to zero from one day to the next. Here are Paul’s thoughts on the matter: Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah). – Galatians 1:10.
But isn’t it really difficult not to care what others think? Precisely! As long as we have emotions and life in us, it will be impossible to be totally devoid of feelings regarding people’s opinions of us. However, we must always put such opinions in the right context. Paul writes, What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?] – Romans 8:31. When you are living according to God’s will and realize how much He is for you, you will receive strength to withstand the rejection that may come from choosing to prioritize Him over the opinions of others.
My prayer is that we can all grow to a place of maturity where we are no longer moved by the opinions of others. Living out God’s plans for our lives must take priority over meeting the expectations of spouses, family, mentors and friends. It will not be an easy path of anyone who truly wants to apply this to their life. You will probably have to endure some pain for a season and hear all sorts of nasty things from people who matter to you. Take courage because it is only for a season. Always have the right perspective by reminding yourself that impressing God is far more profitable than impressing man. Put people in their place and let God take preeminence over every aspect of your life.
Only God has the final say on your life. People’s words and opinions are certainly not the be all and end all of who you are. Don’t fall prey to the trappings of popularity, fame, applause and public opinion. Stop living for the crowd and start playing to the audience of One.