Approval Addiction?

Are you afraid of what other people think?  Are you more concerned
about what others think of you then, well, what you yourself believe is
right?  I came across a helpful Proverb in the Bible: “The fear of man
brings a snare, but he who trusts in the
Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25, NIV)

See if you have these common symptoms of the "fear of man" (and the "fear of women!"):

Common Symptoms of the “Fear of Man”

— you think more about the opinions of your friends than about the opinions of God

— you spend more time in front of the mirror than in devotional time with God

— you are unwilling to take a
stand for truth because you are worried about “offending” others

— you have considered doing the right thing, but you are putting it off

— you have different sets of moral standards based on who you are hanging around with

— you spend money you don't have to "keep up" with the tastes of others

— you are unwilling to take a step of obedience for God
because you are afraid of _________'s reaction.

— you think more about your image than about your spiritual life

— if you do good, you make sure to let people know about it

— if you mess up, you are reluctant to come clean and confess your wrongdoing

— you rarely or never ask for forgiveness

— you put up a "happy" front to impress people, even when your life is going bad

— you try to hide your problems, even from the people who could really help you

Fearing the opinions of others is the ultimate snare, a terrible trap!  It will cause
you to compromise what really matters for the sake of that which does not
matter at all! Even worse, it is a no-win situation; you'll never please everyone, and trying to do so will only waste the life you've been given.

Rather than worry about what other people think, put your trust in God, as the Proverb suggests. Therein lies the path to a truly meaningful life.

What to do: Confess your "fear of man" to God, ask
God for His honest opinion of you.  Wait in silence for the answer, then read 1 Peter 1 in your Bible.



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