What do they think of me? This is a question that plagues my mind very often. Satan tempts me to believe the lie that people are my source for FEELING accepted. And I emphasize the word “feeling”.
Beliefs about ourselves create thoughts, then follow feelings and then finally actions that are lived out.
This is one of my particular flesh patterns that God has revealed to me. The lie that I am unacceptable if I am not accepted by others or even if I perceive they do not accept me. Most of the time it is subtle facial expressions or tone of voice or just a small comment that I will latch onto. Then thoughts like, “I’m unsure what they thought”, “What do they think of me or the situation I was telling them about?”, or “I messed up”. These insecurities are coming from a belief that I am not acceptable and have to be perfect.
Do you see how I have given people power to tell me whether I am acceptable or not? God wants to exchange our source from people to himself.
God wants to break our patterns of wrong belief, whatever that wrong belief may be. People were never meant to fill the deepest needs of our heart. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator. [Romans 1:25]
For me, I cope with the fear of what people think by seeking reassurance from others and worrying. Others may cope by going along with the crowd or by always saying yes and becoming over worked. These coping mechanisms create a cycle of addiction that will never be fully quenched. It is an addiction to having to have the acceptance of others to feel acceptable. Acceptance is the need that I lusted after. For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. [Romans 7:5] We often think of sinful passions as sexual sin, alcoholism or drug use. But God has shown me that a sinful passion can also be the need to please people. And to lust after reassurance of their acceptance.
God wants us to exchange the lies we have believed for His truth. God’s truth is that I am 100% acceptable in Him. It is not based on anything I do, or say, or don’t do or don’t say. The truth is that I am acceptable based on Jesus alone. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. [Romans 5:1] Because Jesus saved us, the separation between us and God has been closed. We are at peace with Him now. He has welcomed us into His kingdom. We are completely accepted by Him because Jesus has bridged the gap that once made us unacceptable.
What is it that you are leaning on to give you the feeling of being acceptable? Is it your job, a relationship, how much money you make, your personality, or a host of many other things? Take some time alone and ask God if you are relying on anything other than Him for acceptance. He loves you and wants to be your source.
At Crossway we understand. We would love the opportunity to share with you God’s truths that have set us free. Please give us a call and let someone walk along side of you as God shows you how to exchange lies with His truth.