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Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety. Proverbs 29:25 NLT
It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people think of us. It’s normal to want to be liked and accepted. Social media has made it a need for many of us. The need to be liked. To gain the approval of others. So we portray what we think is our best selves. We set the lighting just right. Turn ourselves at the perfect angle. Say something catchy or profound. And then, we wait. We wait for the likes to come in. To tell us we’re okay. That we’re good enough.
The problem with needing other people’s approval in order to be okay with ourselves is that people are fickle. Today – you’re great! Tomorrow – you could stand to lose a few pounds, then you’d be gorgeous. The Bible rightly says it’s a dangerous trap we set for ourselves when we fear people. When we define ourselves by the opinions of others. The mental and emotional acrobatics it takes to keep everyone happy with us just isn’t worth it. And at the core of people pleasing is idolatry. Whenever another person’s opinion of us holds more weight than what God says about us, we’ve moved into the dangerous realm of idolatry. Holding anything or anyone in higher esteem than God is idolatry. It means we revere or respect that person above God.
True safety can only be found in God. True unconditional acceptance can only be found in the One who lovingly formed every inch of us on purpose. God made us with a reason in mind. He knows every hair on our heads. Every thought we think. Every flaw and insecurity. And guess what? He loves us completely anyway. In spite of all our mess, God loves us. Chooses to call us His own. What could be more freeing? To be free from trying to live up to all that the world says is good in order to gain fleeting superficial approval. And instead choosing to embrace the love of the Father that was ours before we took our first breath. In God we are loved in the true sense of the word. In His love we are truly safe.
Love & Blessings,