When You Worry About What Others Think

Do you worry what others think about you? We all do at times, but are you letting other people’s perception of you dictate how you live?

Recently on The Joe Sikorra Show, Joe discussed how we can live more freely by living for the glory of God rather than the acceptance of those around us. Joe said:

“Do you worry about what other people think of you? Do you think, ‘Oh man, I hope they don’t think I’m dumb because I pray like this, I go to this kind of Mass, I wear these clothes. Maybe they think I eat too much, or eat too little.’

Now, do you think that God doesn’t address this? He does. Paul talks about this in Corinthians, when he says to eat your meals heartily, and don’t worry what other people are saying to you. He said that if you’re eating for God’s glory, then all glory to God. You’re not eating to please them.

But he goes on and he says to do everything that way. Whatever it is that you do, do it freely for God’s glory. Now, if you’re thinking too much about what other people are thinking about you or feel about you; if you start doing everything for God’s glory, there is a good chance that the anxiety that you feel will dissipate.

Now, Paul goes on and he says we should not be callous in our exercise of freedom. Because there are some people around you who are not as free as you. Paul says that he tries to be considerate of everyone’s feelings, but there’s a big difference between being considerate and being consumed by what other people think about you.

Later on in Philippians, Paul talks about this challenge between feelings and thoughts, when he tells us to learn to love appropriately. He says you need to use your head and test your feelings, so that you’re sure that your love is sincere, not just sentimental gush.

To live a lover’s life you have to examine your thoughts and your feelings. Again, are you loving for the glory of God? See, if you’re already worried about what other people think, then you’re allowing other people to shape your life, and you’re not allowing God to shape your life.

Now, you can make a choice. You can say, ‘Yes, I want an imperfect person to shape, and guide, and direct me.’ It’s a choice! Or you can say, ‘No, I would prefer that the God of the universe, the one who loves me completely, and who made me in His image, shape me.’ To me, that sounds like a better choice.

You have to test your feelings, and place them all before God.”

Listen to the full discussion below:

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.