I was working out at the gym a while back when I grew concerned about what they think. See, some guys lift heavy weights for a few repetitions. I'm one of these guys who lifts light weights for a lot of repetitions. So one day I finished my workout and I noticed some other guys were ready to use the same equipment I just finished using. I looked at the lighter weight that I was lifting and thought to myself, "These guys are going to think I'm some sort of wimp for not lifting the heavy weights." So what did I do? I quickly and quietly added a few pounds to my weights before I walked away from my area. In my mind, that would impress them and keep them from laughing at what I was doing, even though there was absolutely nothing wrong with what I was doing.
Later that day, I thought to myself, "That was ridiculous. Why should I care about their opinion of me? I'm not going to do that again." Ever since then, I quit worrying what the other guys think about me in the gym. I'm just going in there, doing my thing, getting healthy, and not worrying about what they think. And I no longer change my weights when I leave. I refuse to do that again.
Do you ever struggle with being concerned about what other people think of you? Maybe it's with your workout, financial status, clothes, car, home, or job. Do you sit around wondering if others are looking down on you or laughing at you? If so, take it from a friend who knows: Stop doing that. Seriously. Just stop. You're only hurting yourself when you do that. And you're giving those other people power over you that they should not have.
Listen, we can't be a slave to the opinions others have about us. No matter who we are and what we do in life, there will always be some people who approve of us and other people who don't approve. It's just how things go. So we might as well accept that reality and quit worrying about it.
Here's what I've been learning in life the past few years: All I can do is make sure I'm at peace with God, do my very best, and leave it at that. What other people think about me matters very little. What God thinks about me is much more important. Other people are not my judge. God is.
Also, here's something else I've learned: Other people don't think about us nearly as much as we think about ourselves. At times we may obsess over what others are formulating in their minds about us, when the truth is we haven't even crossed their minds. They're thinking about their own lives and what they have going on.
May God help you and me be more secure with ourselves. Let's learn to be at peace with Him and comfortable with who we are in Him. And when we do that, we will be freed from the chains of approval addiction.
Yep, life gets better when we stop worrying about what others think of us. A whole lot better.