“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10 NIV)
Advertising manipulates us all the time: “Buy this product, or you’re stupid!” or “You’d be a fool not to take advantage of this sale!” Have you ever bought something you didn’t want just because you didn’t want to look dumb? Have you ever stood there while somebody offered you a little piece of food on a toothpick? You really didn’t like it, but you bought it anyway.
That’s called the fear of rejection. It not only allows others to manipulate us; it causes us hurt in many other ways. The fear of rejection pressures us to conform to peer pressure. We tend to walk like other people, talk like other people, act like other people, dress like other people. Why?
We don’t want to be rejected.
It keeps us from speaking the truth. Why do people lie? Why do people shade the truth? Because they’re afraid if they tell the truth, you won’t accept them.
Fear of rejection also silences our sharing about Christ. Sometimes silence isn’t golden; it’s just plain yellow! We don't share our faith because we're worried about the approval of others.
How do you overcome the fear of rejection? You need a new perspective!
You start by putting God first. Then, you put the opinions of others in a proper place. In other words, don’t overvalue what they say.
In Galatians 1:10, Paul writes, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (NIV). Paul says his goal in life is to please God, not men. He says I have a choice. I can choose whether I’m going to live for the applause of God or the applause of men. You can’t seek the approval of both at the same time. You have to decide whom you’re trying to impress.
The way to overcome the fear of rejection is to live your life for an audience of one.
Talk About It
- What do you think the difference is between being affected by people’s opinions or being directed by their opinions?
- Whom would you say you’re trying to please on a daily basis? God? Your co-workers? Spouse? Friends?
- How much more of your potential do you think you could reach if you sought the approval of God and no one else?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.