One of the major teachings society has given to us is not to think or care about what other people think about us. It has changed the definition of confidence to meaning doing what you like no matter who thinks its right or wrong. It comes with the relativism theory that exalts everyone’s perception of right and wrong really not even minding what anyone else thinks. This teaching basically in a sentence says ‘to hell with human approval’.
What makes this teaching even easier to accept is the existence of ‘haters’ in the world. The people who really just do not want to see you win.
Their existence is another reason why we feel we don’t need to care too much about other people’s opinions but just ‘do our thing’.
I was all for this teaching for as long as I can remember. It was worse for me because I battled with years of esteem issues before I got this knowledge from society to believe that it did not matter what anyone thought of me or my actions, I will just do my thing.
How wrong was I, how wrong are we all, and how wrong is society!
Contrary to this teaching, I’ve come to discover that we are actually meant to live for others. Minding and considering their thoughts and opinions with the wisdom of God. And by ‘we’, I mean people who name the name of the Lord.
Romans 14 explains this perfectly.
The chapter teaches us how to please God and get human approval together. Contrary to what we have been taught that we could not have the two together.
Romans 14 teaches us that if our actions or words, cause another person to sin or to come into offence, then we are not doing good. If we are aware of a person’s belief on a particular subject, and we choose to do contrary to what they believe in their presence because we hold a different belief, it is not sin, but we may loose human approval but still please God.
Who cares about human approval yes?
But God wants you to know that you can have both, as a matter of fact, He wants you to have both. Be able to please Him and also get human approval. God says He’s come to give us life, and that we might have it in full. Some versions say in abundance. Getting human approval and Having God take pleasure in us is living life to the fullest. It is what Jesus came for.
Going with this persons belief in that moment without in any way going against the teaching of God, would gain you that human approval and at the same time, God’s pleasure in you.
Having the two would mean that one would not stand in the way of the other. Meaning that if in the process of gaining human approval, you loose Gods pleasure in you, then you need to walk away from human approval and in that moment, seek God’s pleasure in you.
Practically, this now means me not wearing trousers to my aunt’s house because she and her church don’t believe in females wearing trousers. Not because I now share or agree with her belief, but to gain her approval and not have her grunt at me when she sights me in trousers, and also gain Gods approval. And if you really think about it, this does not even harm me in any way. It just means me being conscious of what I wear when I go around her.
This also means me dressing very decently and with modesty when I appear in a gathering of both male and female even if I felt comfortable showing a bit of cleavage or wearing a dress slightly above my knee. If it is popular belief that my dressing with showing cleavage or dresses above my knee would cause people to desire me, I will seek their approval by not wearing either of the two and also have God take pleasure in me.
Finally, this also means me not saying ‘you’re annoying’ to people around me when my mother is present because she personally views this as an insult, even though to me, its a statement of fact. But to get her approval and have God delight in me, I’ll refrain from doing that.
It really does not get more practical than this. Those small habits you can easily change to please people around you without going against God’s will, by all means, please change them.
And if we want to be honest, sometimes we loose human approval and still please God but lost those relationships to behaviours and actions that could have easily been changed without us sinning against God in any way.
And for anyone who is so concerned about haters, you need to know that those people need to exist to get you where you should be. Focus on your course and allow them.