Perhaps more than other fears, the fear of people holds far too many back from blessings, opportunities, and even a deeper relationship with God. People are afraid to go to a certain kind of church because, "What will my family think?" Some are afraid to voice a certain opinion at work because, "What will my co-workers think?" Others are afraid to been seen with those people because what will these people think?
My People Problems
While it's frankly pretty pathetic how we allow the opinion of others to control so much of our lives, I understand it. I've been there. As far back as I can remember, I was almost paralyzed by the fear of what others thought. First, in my elementary years, I was so afraid to speak in front of people that they thought I had a reading problem!
When my kindergarten teachers called on me to read, I just froze in fear. Then, as an adult, all the effects of the rejection in my childhood caused me to have an unhealthy desire to please people. I craved acceptance so badly that I got into a habit of perfectionism and believed I had to appear the best at everything. When I fell short or someone disagreed with me, it was a deep personal hit.
God Is Your Vindicator
Thankfully, years later, I learned about a Scripture that began to break the bondage.
For the Lord will vindicate His people (Psalm 135:14).
Perhaps you aren't familiar with the word "vindicate." It means to show or prove something to be right or accepted.
Freshly understanding this verse, I began to realize that it's not my job to win the approval of others. No, God is the one who causes the right people to like me. When I finally saw my acceptance in Him, I was freed from the constant striving to be all things to all people, from the exhaustion of trying to get people to understand me, or even from holding myself back in fear of what others might think.
On many occasions still today, I declare, "God is my vindicator." And my life is proof that it works. I praise God that I'm no longer afraid to speak in front of others. In fact, I now pursue opportunities to get in front of as many as I can. And the perfectionism issue—well, let's just say that I'm making progress.
A Word of Victory
If you struggle with people—whether being accepted or caring too much about their opinions—give your struggle to God. Declare this word of victory: "God is my vindicator. My acceptance is in Him. He causes people to like me. He causes them to want to bless me." Keep that truth running through your mind and your mouth. Be encouraged that God gives favor with the right people, in the right places, and at the right times.
Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the No. 1 spiritual warfare app; and his recent book, Silence Satan, has helped thousands shut down the enemy's attacks, threats, lies and accusations. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.
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