“It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you.” (Proverbs 29:25a GN)
It’s difficult to take a stand for God’s truth when you are overly concerned with what people think about you. When we worry about what other people think, we let them control us. We waste a lot of time and energy trying to figure out what other people want us to be. Then, we waste a lot of time and energy trying to become like that rather than just being what God made us to be.
Worrying about what other people think is dangerous because we’re more likely to cave in to criticism. It means we don't always do the right thing; instead, we do the thing that everybody wants us to do. And what everybody wants to do is often the opposite of what God’s truth compels you to do.
We’re also in danger of missing God's best. We're so worried about what other people want us to do that we can't stop to think about what God wants us 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. In the Super Bowl, both teams are praying that they will win. Who is God going to answer? God can't please everybody. Only a fool would try to do what even God can't do. You can't please everybody.
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.
The Apostle Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 TEV) This means we can think like this: “God likes me, and I like me; if you don't like me, then you have a problem. If God likes me, who cares that everybody doesn't approve of everything I do?”
Remember, 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. That kind of confidence boost should give you the courage you need to take a stand.
Talk About It
Who have you been trying to please?
How has your concern with pleasing this person kept you from standing up for what you know is true?
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.