One of the most valuable life lessons I have learned to date is simple: don’t my ambitions on the opinions of others. Giving too much power to the people’s opinions is “people pleasing” in it’s most simple element. A “people pleaser” puts God in a substandard, or secondary, position in our lives. He doesn’t deserve to be there.
Now get me straight: I’m not advocating treating people badly or not caring about their feelings. I do, however, encourage you to take the “meat” and leave the “bones” of what others say. Create a mental (and spiritual) “filter” for the information you receive and reject about yourself.
For me, getting here has been a journey of self-awareness and spiritual growth. As a young girl, I cared incessantly about what people thought of me and I longed for their illusive approval. It all culminated with extreme teenage rebellion. Wearied of trying to be “perfect”, I broke all the rules and called it doing my “own thing”.
As I grew into my twenties – a young Christian – I found myself again entangled in the people pleasing roller coaster. I struggled to please everyone at church–the older women, my pastor’s wife and the ladies in my social circle. It was exhausting! Now that I’m much older, I love the liberty of walking my own path and following Jesus’ direction for my life.
Tongue-waggers, criticizers and copy-cats will always be around to weigh in. Just love them and pray for them. But do not allow their foolish conversations and personal opinions to weigh you down. If you do, your Godly ambitions may be hindered and nothing is worth that! Few experiences hurt me more than to see a talented, Spirit-Filled woman impeded because of the opinions of people who are “stuck” in their own doubt and insecurity. Break free.
Be you, Godsy Girl. Try new things, dream big dreams. After all, people who take the time to unproductively criticize you are usually stranded in the dark, still waters of mediocrity themselves. The truly spiritually mature are usually too busy with their own life’s mission to be condemning yours.
Trust, obey and keep moving in Jesus name – that works for me. How do you stay free in Jesus?