My stomach twisted. This isn’t right, but what should I do? I knew the answer, but fear held me back. Darkness was all around me, and I knew I needed to escape. But a voice inside of my head told me that I would never be viewed the same.
Fear of what people might think can snuff out our consciences
When my choir director told us we would be singing at an event, I had no idea that my faith was about to be tested. The day of the concert came, so I put on my black dress like usual. However, when I walk into the venue auditorium, something strange was going on. We rehearsed in the dark auditorium, and I felt uneasy. As I looked at the program, I noticed that the event that we were performing for was a celebration of another religion, one that denies Jesus as “the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
I knew that I couldn’t participate in celebrating a false religion. But what would my fellow choir mates think? How would my director react? By the grace of God, there were three other girls who felt the same conviction that I did. We collectively decided to not sing in the concert. After I left, I felt a huge burden lifted. People may not have understood why it went against my convictions to sing there, but I was reminded that human approval is temporal. We made a decision to honor God as we listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Standing out isn’t easy
As Christians, we are meant to stand out. Living a life modeled after Christ isn’t the norm. It takes strength and courage to stand up against the strong cultural current. And people aren’t going to like it.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you (John 19:20).”
As Christians, we are not called to “fit in”
We all want to feel loved and accepted. We go to great lengths to get affirmation. The desire to fit in and have lots of friends can be consuming. I personally have struggled a great deal with feeling like the odd one out. Loneliness and lack of self-worth has plagued my mind. Why am I different? Why don’t they like me? What did I do to make them feel this way about me? These thoughts are paralyzing and self-destructive. When we are consumed with getting people’s affirmation, we tend to compromise. I thank the Lord that He gave me the strength to let go of maintaining the “perfect choir attendee” status. People may not have been happy, but I felt freedom in knowing that my Savior was.
Our eyes are fixed on the immediate
Our eyes have a hard time looking past the here-and-now. We get so fixated on getting praise and affirmation that we fail to realize that in light of eternity, human approval doesn’t matter. If we strive to be like the world, how will anyone see Jesus through us? If there’s no distinct difference in us, how will anyone see their need for Christ?
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Mathew 5:13-16).”
It all boils down to identity
If we find value and worth in other people’s approval, we will be disappointed. Only identity that is found in Jesus truly satisfies. God strengthens His children to be confident in Him. He gave me the courage to face the fear of looking arrogant and judgmental in other people’s eyes. Even though the world may think of us Christians as weird, cocky, and judgmental, God strengthens His children to be bold for Him as long as we are open to what He has to tell us.
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).”
It takes boldness to live for God
Being a Christian isn’t easy. God never promised that it would be. Here at Across My Heart Ministries, we share biblical truths that are completely counter cultural. It takes boldness to go against the current. God is calling women who are willing to be strengthened by Him to boldly live out His design for our lives. Let’s leave behind our desire for human approval and live solely for one purpose…to hear our Savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”