Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Obsessed over What Other People Think

      The more stuff we own, want, or guard, the more our thoughts become filled with the things of this world. And the more our thoughts are filled with the things of this world, the more concerned we become about what the world thinks. We enjoy our stuff, sure, but we also enjoy how it makes other people think about us. How many of our life decisions have been made based on how others will view us? In everything from wardrobe choices to our line of work, we are influenced by how we look to those around us.
     When we make decisions based not on morality or necessity but on our image, we become silent slaves to the people whose approval we are hoping to gain. To those of us stuck in this trap, there is a statement: "If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant."
     Any number of things can send us reeling into approval-seeking mode. The places we live, the school we send our kids to, the store we shop at, the prayer hall we attend- all can be significantly influenced by what other people think of us. It's said that you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all the people all of the time. Well, it's true, and that's what makes obsessing over what other think of us such a futile and even dangerous proposition. But God has made it clear what pleases him : he is pleased by our devotion and obedience to him.
     A funny things happens when we take our focus off the stressful and impossible task of pleasing everyone and put it on to pleasing God. Suddenly other people's opinions no longer controls us, no longer affect our spirits or our emotions. We are set free. The chains that bound us to the world are loosed, and we are able to breathe again.     


  1. I am definitely not out to please everyone. I just want to be myself. My husband is always worried about what people think. Like people will ask him if that's all I do is read. I don't care what they think. I know I take care of what I need to. It's my hobby, and I don't watch TV like a lot of people. I don't judge them, so they shouldn't be judging me. If they do, oh well. I think people put way too much into trying to impress others. Even with book reviews. Sometimes I have to review books that I don't like and I let them know what I don't like. I do worry about what the author will think, but in the end, it's only benefiting them when I tell them so next time they can do better. I am not mean about it though.

  2. Sometimes it can be hard to tune out what other people think. But I agree that what others think shouldn't be paramount to someone's self worth. :-)

  3. This is a lesson I still need to learn. I am a people pleaser--unfortunately. I need to work on it. God is so much more important.

    Great post ;)

  4. I am posting daily at my Fasebook fan page of my new book. The posts are about positive change. The book "Changing the Little Things" If you post more posts like this one, I'll never run out of short posts for my pages.

  5. Well the other side of the meaning of 'pleasing people' I'd like to share here is the way you actually please them but in a sense that you perform your duty as someone who believes in God, and as a consequence wants to please him.
    And by this sense I mean pleasing people by actually caring about them, but not worrying about what the would think of you.