Being controlled by other people’s opinions is a problem that every person struggles with to varying degrees. Biblically it is called fear of man. This term is typically more recognizable by such labels as peer-pressure, codependency, and insecurity.
The insecure person wants to be safe, but a fear of other people hold them back. They are asking questions like, will they hurt me? Will they reject me? Will they like me? As the person becomes more securely established in God’s faith, the Lord will be more significant to them than people.
When the Lord’s faith is operative in your heart, you will be primarily influenced and controlled by Him. It is your choice as to who or what will shape and control your thoughts. You are not a victim, though you can feel more victimized than empowered when around certain people.
Submitting yourself to God is the only option you have if you want to be mature. Either other people will capture your heart because of your desire for their acceptance, or you will be resting in the truth that God’s opinion of you is so positive, unchanging, and satisfying that He controls your mind.
How do you know God’s opinion of you is always positive, always unchanging, and consistently satisfying? It is the gospel. Because of the gospel, any Christian finds assurance by knowing God loves them and will be for them always. Read Romans 8:31-39.
Time to Reflect
1. Are you a Christian? How do you know? How is the Lord’s opinion of you managing you?
2. What practical steps do you need to take to find security and rest in the gospel?