Mark Affleck

I Was Paralyzed By What Others Were Thinking

June 15, 2019
Spiritual Growth

We all worry about what people think of us. When we are young children…when we are middle-age adults…and when we are aging seniors. We covet affirmation through our entire life. We care about “what others think.”

The problem is how whatever people think about us will ALWAYS fall short of the IDEAL SCRIPT we write in our mind.
  
Before you lock this away as a one-dimensional point, it’s important to acknowledge that this “approval coin” has two sides—destructive and healthy.
  
A glimpse of the destructive side can be seen through the Apostle Paul who knew that pleasing men would preclude his service for Christ (Galatians 1:10).
  
Peter showed us the healthy side when he charged us to care about what outsiders thought so they would focus on our good deeds for Christ (1 Peter 2:12).
  
It’s a challenge to walk with that two-sided coin jangling in our pocket. We need to start with the imperative to care about what others think of Christ.
  
After all, their eternal destiny hangs on that thought. And it creates a responsibility for us to live a life that puts God’s truth as the headline of our faith story.
  
The focus is not on displaying our wisdom and excellence. The only thing that matters is whether or not Christ is glorified in how people view us.
  
Do we live in a way that elevates Christ to the hero platform or do we shove him off so we can steer the spotlight our way?
  
The opinion of others—what others think—must pivot off our genuine desire to have them see Christ in our life so they are drawn to him and his salvation promise.
  
Just think if we were able to DEFLECT criticism and its piercing pain. Just think if we lived IMMUNE to what we perceive to be the expectations of others. Just think if we concentrated SOLELY on the expectations and affirmation of Jesus. Just think.
  
I ask God to help me to stop worrying about what others think and direct my mind to him. To renew my spirit so I can focus on people seeing Christ in me.
  
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
  
Can you think of one thing that God would like you to release from your concern over what others think or say?
  
“Teacher, we know that you are true, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men but truly teach the way of God.” Mark 12:14
  

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