The fear of human opinion disables;
trusting in God protects you from that.
Proverbs 29:25, MSG*
“Disable” is a strong word. Even though many levels of disability don’t incapacitate a person, they do affect and interfere in some way with that person’s ability to function. And some disabilities increase over time.
We all know how fear of others’ opinions can cause us to self-censor, to put up walls or wear masks, to hide our true thoughts and feelings. In contrast, certain people make us feel safe to be ourselves.
No matter what people say or think about us, whether they misunderstand us or see the truth, God loves us. In His eyes, we have such great value that Jesus came to rescue us from life (and death) cut off from relationship with God.
We can trust His love. We can trust the things He says in the Bible. Things like “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NIV**) And “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20, NIV**)
Even if everyone else rejects us, God delights in us. We’re His favourite part of creation. Don’t believe me? Take time to read Alisha Gratehouse’s post, “The Lord Delights in You” and Carolyn Watts’ post, “God’s Favourite Part of Creation.” You may have to pray about these truths for a while to let them sink in.
Rejection, snide remarks and misunderstanding from others will always hurt. But security in God’s love can keep us from being disabled by the fear of human opinion. Our best defence is to get closer to Him.
God our gentle Shepherd, You understand the pain of rejection. You know our fears. When others hurt us, help us to anchor in Your deep love. Help us remember—and believe—what You say about us. Help us pay more attention to Your opinion of us than to those of the people around us. Help us live confidently in Your care.
A good song for this and for the other stresses we may face: Geoff Moore‘s “I Believe”
*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
**New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.