“The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think.”
I’m not sure who coined this but it’s a powerful statement. There are people who struggle with this more than others, but we must understand; we have to be more concern with what God thinks than people. God’s grace is suffient for anything you may face. Worrying about what other people think can cause you to make foolish decisions. And, instead of being authentic you put on a façade.
You change the way you do things because you want the approval of others. You mind is racing in so many different directions that it can cause you to just be paralyze in anxiety. This is a huge topic that we could discuss in so many different ways. To get better with all this, we need to be confident in the Lord and practice. For example, if you have to speak in front of an audience and you are afraid of what other may think know that with practice you will become better at it. Practice with a group of friends or family members and above all ask God for help in the area of fear.
Take a minute and just think about it. If you stop caring what other people think, you would do things confidently. You wouldn’t be dealing with those discouraging “what ifs.” “I’m too this and not enough of that” or “I can’t do this.” Fear would no longer hold you in bondage. Worrying about the thoughts of others stops you from doing God’s will. Many times, God tells us to do something and our family tells us to do something contrary to what God says. “Everyone is going to think I’m a fool.” Sometimes trusting God and following His lead seems foolish to the world, If God tells you to do something, then do it. Don’t allow people to get you in trouble with God, their words are irrelevant. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God thinks good thoughts about you (Jeremiah 29:11) so think good thoughts about yourself as well. Sometimes we are our own worse critics. No one criticizes you like you criticizes yourself. You have to stop. If you struggle with low self-esteem, Satan will speak lies to you. Rebuke Him!
Turn to God. He is enough. If you learn to be confident in Christ, you will be confident in other areas of your life. When you are focused on what others think it stops you from being yourself. You start to over analyze everything you say and do. You can’t be yourself because you’re too busy being what you think others want you to be. Worrying what others think causes you to fear every situation you are faced with. You will be too afraid to step out and do something radical because you will think “what would people say about me if I fail.” You may be afraid to meet new people. You may be afraid to pray in public. It can cause you to make financial mistakes. You will be a people pleaser; it even cause you to be fearful to tell others you are a Christian. Worrying what others think is so dangerous for your spiritual life and your walk with God. We must be bold Christians and even if that means offending people with the truth. I’m not saying we should live loose lives and then feel we shouldn’t care what others think about it. We should protect our witness, so we don’t lead anyone astray (Mark 9:42). We have to use wisdom when we shouldn’t care what others think and when we should.