“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
“The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10
Someone immeasurably dear and precious to me thinks I’m a failure. Rest assured my loved one would probably never admit to what fills her heart concerning me, though assuredly she has given hints of it in her countenance, in her composure, in her tone, and yes, sometimes in her words, but if the truth were to be brought into the light, here is what the truth would reveal. She thinks I’m a failure professionally, a failure socially, and a failure financially. That’s a whole lot of failure, isn’t it? Rest assured, when you love someone as much as I love my loved one, it can hurt – and hurt badly, and hurt long for that matter – to be thought of in this way. But the Lord heals hurting hearts when we yield our hearts and hurts to Him, when we pour ourselves out to Him, when we cry out to Him, when we believe in Him and follow Him, and learn of Him and grow in His image, so the hurt isn’t really the problem when it comes right down to it. The problem – and the message that accompanies it – is this.
WE WERE CREATED TO LOVE AND WORSHIP AND PLEASE AND SERVE AND TO FEAR (REVERE AND HONOR) AND TO LIVE FOR GOD AND TO GLORIFY HIM FOREVER THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST AND WE WERE NOT CREATED TO TURN OUR BACKS ON GOD AND TO LIVE FOR OURSELVES AND TO PLEASE OTHERS TO GAIN THEIR LOVE, APPROVAL, VALIDATION, ACCEPTANCE, AND VALIDATION.
What’s the problem?
The problem is when we allow how others think of us, particularly when they judge and criticize and condemn us, when they consider us failures, when they make us feel like we’re not good enough, when they measure us according to their own expectations and standards, to determine how we live our lives, what decisions we make, what actions we take, etc. When we go down a path in our lives, choose a certain course, change direction, let something or someone go, move in a new direction, etc., to gain someone’s love and attention and acceptance rather than because it’s the direction the Lord is taking us, we are acting out of a FEAR OF MAN instead of from a FEAR OF GOD. In other words, we are living to please ourselves and others rather than to love and worship and serve and glorify God. The other person and how that person views us becomes our measuring stick, and our catalyst, and, sometimes, even our idol or little god.
What is the message?
We need to fear God, to revere God, to honor God, to live for God, and to base our decisions not on what others think of us, but based on the Lord God almighty, for at the end of the day, we will stand before the Lord and have to give an account of our lives before Him – not before that person, or those people. It will not be ultimately about what anyone else thinks of us, but whether or not we lived our lives for Christ.
I love this loved one today more than ever, but I am well aware that day by day I need to forsake that person’s acceptance and approval, and love and forgive that person, continually, and keep walking forward living the life the Lord desires I live. For Him.
Professionally, financially, and socially, I am confident I am in the will of the Lord. I forsake my loved one’s approval, and know I may well continue to be a failure in that person’s eyes, but what matters isn’t what that person or anyone else thinks of me, but that I am living for Christ and am pleasing to Him.
See the scriptures above? Does the Lord tell us to conform ourselves to the world so we can look and act and talk like the world and please the world and gain the world’s approval, or does the Lord call us to be transformed so we can live to fulfill His will for us? Does He tell us to fear man? Or to fear, and revere, Him? He created us to live for Him!
Please be careful, friend. Please don’t live your life to gain others’ love, approval, acceptance, validation, etc. Please don’t live to meet someone else’s expectations of you. Please don’t live according to the world’s standards and ways which are not the Lord’s.
Live for the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one for whom we were created to live!
If you have hurt in your heart because of someone else’s judgment, criticism, and condemnation, because you are living for Christ instead of living to please that person, let the Lord heal your heart. Love the person. Forgive the person. And carry on following the Lord as He leads you forth. Live for Him, oh, live for the Lord! Amen!