I struggle with worrying about what other people think of me. Maybe you do too. Maybe everyone does from time to time. We want to be liked and accepted by people who matter to us, people we admire. However, our need for approval from other people may hint to a bigger spiritual issue.
Co-dependency. Peer Pressure. Approval addiction. These are all terms used in the psychological community. The Bible calls it the “fear of man.”
When we depend on culture to tell us we are okay, then we fear (revere) humans more than God. When we look for answers to our questions from other people rather than going to God, we “fear men” more than Him. When we measure our self-worth by comparing ourselves to people we see, rather than by believe who God says we are, we “fear men” more than the God who loves us.
In my life, the “fear of man” has caused me tremendous anxiety and paralyzing dread. It has sabotaged relationships. It has robbed me of sleep and confidence in the things God has called me to do.
In his book *When People are Big and God is Small*, Ed Welch says, “When God and spirituality are reduced to our standards or our feelings, God will never be to us the awesome Holy One of Israel. With God reduced in our eyes, a fear of people will thrive.”
God’s opinion is the only one we need. Depend on it!
Lord, give me eyes to see myself the way you see me. Show me if I am depending on something else other than you. Please stop me from reducing your awesomeness by my fear of the opinions of others or by comparing myself to them. Amen.
Go Deeper ― Keep track of how many times you compare yourself with others today. Then ask God if this is a problem in your life you need His help to overcome.
Read more: See Yourself as God Sees You
Photo Credit: Steven Van Loy