“It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you.” (Proverbs 29:25a GNT)
We waste a lot of time and energy trying to figure out what other people want us to be and then trying to become like that, rather than just being what God made us to be.
That’s dangerous, because when you’re worried about what other people think all the time, you cave in to criticism. You don’t always do the right thing. You do what everybody wants you to do. And you probably miss God’s best for your life because you can’t stop and think about what God wants you to do.
Fact #1: You cannot please everybody. Even God can’t please everybody. One person prays for it to rain; another prays for it to be sunny. Who is God going to answer? Only a fool would try to do what even God can't do.
Fact #2: It’s not necessary to please everybody. There is a myth that says you must be loved and approved by everybody in order to be happy. That’s just not true. You don’t have to please everybody in order to be happy in life.
Fact #3: Rejection will not ruin your life. It hurts, sure. It’s not fun. It’s uncomfortable. But rejection will not ruin your life unless you let it.
Quit trying to please everybody. Remember that nobody can make you feel inferior unless you give him or her permission to. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 NIV) If God likes you, who cares that everybody doesn't approve of everything you do?
Nothing you ever do will make God love you less. Nothing you ever do will make God love you more. He loves you completely right now, just the way you are.
Talk About It
Who in your life have you been overly concerned with pleasing?
How has that concern kept you from being what God intended you to be?
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 the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.