Have you heard the saying, “What other people think of me is none of my business”?
I would encourage you take a minute or two to consider that statement, and then answer this question: What would your life be like if you were not concerned about what other people thought about you?
Most people are programmed from childhood to try to please other people. They live and wait for permission and approval. They hope that they don’t upset anyone and that everyone likes them. They are depressed and let down if they fail to make someone happy. Their greatest fears are generated by thoughts of unworthiness, rejection and embarrassment. Such people relegate their happiness to outside forces like circumstances, weather conditions, and the opinions and moods of others. They believe that their inner peace, satisfaction, and joy are produced by what is outside of them. Here are some examples of statements made by such individuals; “He just makes me so angry”, “I can’t handle being treated that way”, “If she would just do _________, then I would be happy.” “It is so unfair for them to treat me that way.” “You are just ruining my day.” “I just am unable to handle what is happening.”
I think we all give in to such childish thinking at times. But some people define their lives by what others think of them. Please don’t misunderstand. I am not suggesting narcissism and selfishness as the solution to this dilemma. In fact, people who abdicate the ownership of their lives to other people tend to be very self-focused. In their thinking, life is all about them.
No, I am proposing that you replace those self-focused habits with gratitude, service, and responsibility. I am convinced that this is fundamentally a spiritual issue. In my understanding of Holy Scripture, only the sovereign God of this universe is worthy of our fear and full attention, because He alone is the Creator and Sustainer of life.
My challenge for you is to quit trying to please other people, and make it your life focus to serve them instead. If you choose to serve others and not be concerned about pleasing them, you may not always make them happy. But what they think of you is none of your business. Your intention is to always respect them, serve them, and then choose to be content regardless of their disposition or reaction! Your focus is to be the best you you can be and always do the right thing. I challenge you to notice who is pushing your buttons, and then get rid of the buttons! Then you will be free to choose your happiness and create your own story, all in submission to the One who is truly in control.