Ever had the feeling that someone seems to be sizing you up out of the corner of their eye? Or talking about you with others? Ever let that feeling wriggle its way into your heart and breed all sorts of worry and guilt and anger and hurt?
It’s called caring about what people think more than what God thinks. Also known as idolatry. I am so deeply guilty of this sin, and I have to spend time in intentional right-thinking in order to overcome it.
Here’s my short little step-by-step sermon I gave to myself this week to smash anxiety brought on by the perception that someone is sizing me up:
- You probably don’t know for sure that so-and-so is talking about you or unhappy with you. It is indeed probably just a perception. So you ought not drastically alter the course of your life or let yourself be consumed by worry over something you have no way of proving. Philippians 4:8 says only think about true things anyway.
- If you’re living out 1 Peter 2:12 then you’ve got nothing to worry about: ”Keep your conduct…honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God…” And the same goes for 1 Peter 3:15-16: “…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
- And if your perception happens to be true and you are “aiming at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man,” (2 Corinthians 8:21) then it’s no longer your problem at all!
- So go play in the rain puddles and enjoy life.