“The pressure will either fold you or mold you. You choose. “
We’ve all felt it before.
The pressure. The fear of disapproval. Staying quiet when God already told us to speak up about an issue. Although doing what we can want in the moment is extremely comfortable, it is also crippling and immobilizes us in this world that we are called to do work in.
I would be a complete liar to say I never in my life feared someone’s opinion, approval or altered something about myself to fit someone’s standard. I would be a complete liar! However, I can say now more than ever that I am very comfortable in my own skin and more aware of what I need as a person. I know the boundaries I need to set in order to live a life pleasing to God while maintaining my own self respect and upholding my values.
In my own life, there has been times where I was judged about being the odd ball. I was the only one in my family interested in makeup and weave (lol still am). I also was the only one in my family to stay up in the wee hours of the night on the computer working on creating content. I had different interest than all my friends. I knew I was different, but I wanted no parts of a conversation regarding that. Later on I had some unhealthy friendships that constantly judged me for what I did questioned it and when I answered I lost them. It was a complete cycle of losing friendship due to envy or jealousy.
So I became closed off.
“Just maybe if I hide myself from people, there would just be less judgement” I thought. It was, but in the process I lost me. I constantly had to hide my talents and abilities from others for a fear of them not liking me because of it. I can’t say that I’m 100% healed, but I bought this issue before God and through confession, prayer and his spirit I have grown.
This is what I learned in the process:
Fear of Man
Fear of man (humans) can look differently from person to person.
-Fear of disapproval
-A need of recognition from another person
-Fear of criticism
-Fear of being different
-Fear of rejection
All these things and more can lead us to be inactive in the kingdom of God, have low self-worth, second guess our decisions and disobedient to God.
It cripples you
Fear of man cripples you so much so that you can end up being so far away from serving the Lord. Instead of showing up daily in the god given identity you were born with, you are constantly questioning if you level up to the standards around you. Are you truly living? The answer is simple, no.
It isolates you
Isolation can be such a defense mechanism. It’s comfortable, but it’s bondage. You can’t be who you are freely because your constantly worrying about someone’s opinion about you.
May we fear God not people
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7).
A fear of the Lord shows that we have reverence for Him. What he wants and His opinion is above all else. Also, having a fear of the Lord leads you to His wisdom. What He says about you matters. May we all know that what He says about us should be enough in this crazy world we live in.
Just like any other issue or habit, we need to go through it with God. I pray that this blog post inspires you to acknowledge things, pray to God and grow gracefully through this common issue.
Keep fighting…daily :).