by Rick Warren — May 26, 2021
From You Make Me Crazy
“The LORD says, ‘I am the one who strengthens you. Why should you fear mortals, who are no more enduring than grass?’”
Isaiah 51:12 (GNT)
One way to overcome the fear of rejection is by keeping the right perspective. You can listen to the opinions of others—but never overvalue what they say.
In Isaiah 51:12, God says, “I am the one who strengthens you. Why should you fear mortals, who are no more enduring than grass?” (GNT). Your life here on Earth is temporary, so why be afraid of other people’s opinions?
Other people are not God, and their opinions aren’t going to last. The secret to success is to outlast your critics—to realize that it’s the really long game, eternity, that matters. In Isaiah, God reminds you he’s the one who counts.
When people put you down, don’t assume their judgments are the same as God’s. Don’t automatically accept someone’s criticism; instead, judge it for what it’s worth.
Why does this matter? Because when people’s approval becomes all-important to you, you set yourself up to live in fear of rejection.
The Bible says, “In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 GNT). If you recognize how much God is for you, it gives you the ability to withstand tremendous rejection from other people.
For some people, all that matters is popularity, fame, or applause. They think: “What do other people think of me? How do I look to everybody else? Image is everything!”
If you live this way, you are at the mercy of everyone else’s judgments. If someone thinks you’re a loser, you must be a loser! If someone thinks you’re a dork, you must be a dork! I don’t want to live that way—do you?
The good news is God never intended for you to live this way. It’s as if he’s saying to you, “Why are you listening to them? They’re just mortal men and women. I’m the one that counts. They are no more enduring than grass.”
The apostle Paul said his goal in life was to please God, not others: “Does this sound as if I am trying to win human approval? No indeed! What I want is God’s approval! Am I trying to be popular with people? If I were still trying to do so, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10 GNT).
Paul says you have a choice. You can choose to live for the applause of God or for the applause of other people.
Who are you more interested in pleasing? The crowd or God? You can’t seek the approval of both at the same time. You have to decide who you want to impress. Just remember who is “no more enduring than grass” and who is “the one who strengthens you.”
God is for you, and he wants to see you succeed! Choose to live for him today.