How many times have you stopped yourself from doing something because you are worried what others may think of you? I know I have done this on a few occasions and I think I have lived to regret worrying too much about the opinions of others. Of course, there is also a positive to this whole scenario - we can save ourselves some trouble by thinking through some silly decisions, by wondering what our family or friends would think. However, in general, we worry too much about other people's opinions.
"The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that." - Proverbs 29:25 (Message)
I think that the word Eugene Peterson chooses in this paraphrase is quite striking - he uses the word 'disables'. When we are fearful of what people think of us, we are not able to live out of a place of joy, but rather from a place of fear. It is that emotion that disables us.
What do you feel?
“You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.”