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Trust in God's opinion of you more than others

Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but those who trust in the Lord shall be safe.”
I thought I had gotten pretty good at not allowing the fear of man to snare me, but lately I have been struggling with some anger and resentment and God has peeled back the layers to show me the deep-seeded root behind it all: the fear of man.
Fear of man though, to take it a step deeper, is actually rooted in pride. We are focused on self and what others think about self, which has been my struggle lately. My flesh has wanted respect, appreciation and approval from others for what I do, and it has caused me to be angry and bitter when I don’t get it.
I have been a stay-at-home mom for a little over six years now. I know God called me to stay home and raise my family instead of trusting in others to raise them, and I know by sacrificing for my family the benefits that abound to them are priceless.
But stay-at-home moms do not get a lot of respect from the world, which I am sad to admit I had while I was a working mother, and can often be stereotyped as being lazy and having it easy.
“I work and they don’t” was my harsh and critical attitude, and I’m so sorry for ever judging in that manner because nothing could be further from the truth. Lately I’ve allowed that unjust thinking to negatively affect me, causing me to be resentful toward those who might think that because I don’t want to be thought of as lazy.
I find myself apologizing all the time when someone comes to our house and it is a mess. Because in my mind they expect my house to be perfect inside and out because I don’t work outside the home. The fear of man has caused me to allow what I think they are thinking of me to rule me, in turn leading to undo pressure I put on myself to maintain this false standard of perfectionism in the eyes of others.
A lot of this thinking stems from a few years ago when we had a couple over for a meal. After the meal while we were sitting in the living room, I felt my insecurities arising as I surveyed the area to notice the never-ending clutter that abounded around me, even though I had made an effort to clean up earlier in between cooking the large meal.
I made the remark, “I have a choice between keeping our house in perfect shape or us eating well. I choose that we eat well.” This person, who did not have any kids mind you, commented back, “You could do both if you wanted to.”
Those words stung. “He thinks I’m lazy and has no idea what I do all day," I thought. Because I didn’t want him to think that about me, I started to justify myself, saying how much laundry I have to do all the time, how I hang it out to save us money, all the vegetables I have to harvest and then put away, and how hard it is to keep a house in good shape with three little boys. It is sad that I put so much stock in what that one person thought of me.
But here is what I am discovering. First, I am tired of this apologizing tour I have been on. Enough is enough. If you come to my house and it is a mess, I’m going to suck up my pride and not make excuses for it, allowing you to know the already obvious truth: that I am not perfect, nor do I keep a perfectly kept house.
Second, although words may be offensive and stereotypes may arise, I have a choice whether I become offended or not. When I allow myself to get easily offended, it shows I value the opinion of others more than I value the opinion of God.
When we trust in Jesus living in us to produce and confirm our identity, we no longer give validity to the enemy's attacks to get us to doubt who we are or allow the fear of man to dominate us. Through Jesus and him only have we been perfected forever (Hebrews 10:14).
This does not mean our flesh will be perfect, but in our spirit is where we have been made a new and perfect creation. Jesus has qualified us (Colossians 1:12), and through him we are holy, blameless and above reproach in his sight (Colossians 1:22).
I pray that all of us who have received Jesus will allow his love and thoughts toward us to dominate us more than the fear of man. What is man’s opinion compared to God’s anyway?
Amber can be reached at amberdeemiller32@gmail.com">amberdeemiller32@gmail.com or through her AmberRiceMiller Facebook page.

Published: July 5, 2017
New Article ID: 2017170709964