How to Overcome Other People's Approval
She has been in my life for forty-some-odd years. She whispers to me often. Somedays are better than others. She isn’t always welcome, but she doesn’t seem to care. She invites herself everywhere and intrudes on my pretty good life. I have a loving family. An incredibly caring husband and good friends. Most would consider me successful and I live my life to please God. Yet, almost every day I think about her. When I pair those shoes with that dress, or chop my bangs to add some spunk. When I say no to this gathering, but yes to that dinner. When I do TIKTOKS with my kids or press send on that post. When I speak the truth or create relationship boundaries. When I say no or when I say yes.
What is she going to think?
Your “she” is different than mine. But “she” haunts you too. “She” is what other people think. And all too often, “she” holds us back and paralyzes us in fear.
You might say you don’t care. I like to think the same. But let’s consider how much of our lives operate rooted in the opinion of others. Do you have a Facebook or Instagram account? So, you care-at least to some degree- what people think. How many of you thought twice about what you were going to wear to that event? You care a little what others think.
These might be silly examples, but living for the approval of others has a way of completely dominating our lives in big ways. While sensitivity to others is appropriate, being consumed by the opinions of others in an unhealthy way was never God’s plan for us.
“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
We can be AFFECTED by the opinion of other people, but we don’t have to be DIRECTED by it.
Inevitably we are going to be touched by the thoughts of others—it’s going to show up in our life from time to time—but we don’t have to allow it to control us, or to consume us, or to conform us to their thoughts and values. People are vital to our existence. But they’re just that: PEOPLE. Because they’re just people, we don’t put our FAITH in them. We don’t trust their opinions or allow them to rule our lives. But how do we combat this fear of what others think?
Focus on how God sees you.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17
He favors you. Favor is an attitude of approval. He approves of you. You have a supreme destiny. You come from something bigger and greater. You are created for something bigger and greater. That’s what He thinks. So on the days when the thoughts of others are piercing my ears and ring loudly in my head I fix my heart toward my creator to hear what he has said. This is what I hear.
I am loved
I am forgiven
My past does not define me
I am not what others say about me
I am not my diagnosis
I am not my failings or my weakness
Your past, your hurt, your hang ups and your set backs will either grow you or diminish you. Be bold and decide.
And you know what He thinks when He looks at you? He couldn’t love you any more.
He is absolutely head over heels for you—imperfections and all.
So go on sister! You are approved, by God and ME! That's why I want to invite you to my new FB group, the Significant Sisterhood. It's free and its fun. I created this new safe space for girls to come together in a community and create their lives around what matters most. A place where you can grow in faith and connections. An environment for conversation around topic just like these so you can let go of the old and bring on the new that Jesus promises for you and your life. You can join the group right here. I look forward to seeing you there SIS!