by Rick Warren — March 23, 2022
From The Miracle of Mercy
“It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe.”
Proverbs 29:25 (GNT)
You may not realize it, but fearing the disapproval of others causes more problems in your life than almost anything else. When you worry about what other people think, you tend to do the popular thing, even if you know it’s wrong. You make commitments that you can’t possibly keep, simply because you’re trying to make everybody happy. This is a recipe for failure.
And it’s one of the reasons Peter failed Jesus by denying him three times. He was more concerned with what other people thought than with being faithful to Jesus.
The Bible says, “But Peter followed along at a distance and came to the courtyard of the high priest’s palace. He went in and sat down with the guards to see what was going to happen . . . While Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, a servant girl came up to him and said, ‘You were with Jesus from Galilee.’ But in front of everyone Peter said, ‘That isn’t so! I don’t know what you are talking about!’” (Matthew 26:58, 69-70 CEV).
Peter had just spent three years with Jesus, the Son of God. But the first time he had a chance to acknowledge this privilege, instead he denied Jesus. Peter was more worried about what other people thought than he was about identifying with Christ.
Think of how many times you’ve had the opportunity to share Christ and said nothing because you were worried about what other people would think.
Whose opinion matters to you more than God’s? When you let someone else be more important than God, they become your god. That’s called an idol—and that’s a setup for failure.
The fear of disapproval always comes from a hidden wound. Maybe it was a rejection in the past. It might be an unmet need or a trauma you experienced growing up. It’s a deep pain, so deep it’s hidden in you. I call it soul pain.
That soul pain is always related to your identity. If you don’t know who you are, you will be manipulated by the disapproval of other people the rest of your life. You won’t stand up for what you believe or do what’s right.
The Bible says in Proverbs 29:25, “It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe” (GNT).
When you recognize the hidden wounds in your life, God can begin to heal them. And you can live in the freedom of knowing that God’s opinion matters most.