"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit". ~Romans 8:1
For many years, I have struggled with the fear of disappointing others and even the possibility of losing those relationships around me. Funny thing is that I had no idea that this issue was so powerful in my life until I found myself deep in depression.
Because of this experience, I had to discover the root of my issues. What was wrong with me? I found these three questions and asked myself each of them.
- Am I in constant fear of what others think about me or my decisions?
- Do I make decisions based upon what I believe God calls me to? Or do I make decisions based upon what others expect of me?
- Am I willing to change?
There are many facets to fear. For me it was the fear of other's being angry because of my decisions or disappointing someone and being rejected (which happened to me I might add).
Then there is the issue of insecurity. Insecurity is found in fear, and insecurity will rear its ugly head when our sense of security and self-worth is determined by what others think of us. For me it came at the expense of my identity. I lost myself in trying to be what I thought would please others and help me to earn their love and approval. Once you have spent years in this pattern, you forget who God created you to be and life turns into a lie.
Both these discoveries were tough pills for me to swallow but I have had to make a conscious decision to overcome my need to people please. I have had to learn to say, "I DO NOT care what they thinks of me. They have not walked in my shoes nor do they know my heart." I fully believe that God creates EVERY person with a special purpose and plan, which is not and should not be determined by people.
I have had to learn to face my fears – Joyce Meyer writes, "We are held in bondage by what we refuse to face and deal with."
For me the decision was made to focus on pleasing God alone and less on pleasing others. This choice has set me free and taught me so much about God's love.