"The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that" (Prov. 29:25, MSG).
People who accomplish big things in life must face naysayers who try to discourage them.
- When the Wright brothers tried to fly their first plane, people told them it would never work because humans can't fly.
- When Moses led the Israelites across the desert, the people complained: "We're going to die! We want to go back to Egypt!"
- When John F. Kennedy said the United States would send a man to the moon, many people said it could never be done.
Anyone who has ever tried to do anything great has always come face to face with naysayers.
The thing is, naysayers aren't necessarily bad people. They may truly want what's best for you. They may love you.
But they're not God.
So don't treat their opinions like you would God's opinions.
The Bible says, "The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that" (Prov. 29:25, MSG).
Some of us have been disabled by the opinions of others, and we don't even realize it. In a sense, some of us have become addicted to the approval of others.
Another translation of Proverbs 29:25 says, "It is dangerous to be concerned with what other people think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe" (GNT).
When you give more weight to the opinions of others than you do to God's opinion, you'll stay on the sidelines when God wants you in the game. You'll stay locked up in a prison of self-made fear.
Other people's opinions can sidetrack you from God's purpose for your life.
Don't let that happen.
In Isaiah 8:13, the Bible says, "Sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread" (MEV).
So break the chains of fear, and go after God's vision for your life. He's your biggest cheerleader. He wants you to succeed, and he's working in your life so you will.
Talk It Over:
- How have you seen naysayers stop someone from following his or her dream?
- When have naysayers sidetracked you or almost sidetracked you from your purpose? What did you learn from that experience?
- What's one dream or vision that God has given you that you can take a hold of in a fresh new way this week?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
This article originally appeared at pastorrick.com.
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