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I don’t think it’s even a conscious thing sometimes—this focus on what others think or say about us, how we live, what we do, and who we are.
We gather the evidence that we can easily see or obtain—their “likes” towards us, their commentary, how they speak about us, or if they deem us “cool” or “relevant” enough to be a steady in their own lives.
And so many times, these pieces of evidence are the culmination of assumptions or hearsay, both of which provide a rather faulty foundation.
And even with that, we have ZERO control over how others perceive us.
Because despite our motivation, purity of pursuit, or personal revelation from the Lord, they form their own opinion. This opinion is often founded upon their own experience, their desires or lack thereof, their relationship with Jesus, the choices their making, and their mindset upon forming the opinion.
Do we see how unsteady, unreliable, and untrue these opinions usually are?
Because EVEN WE—the ones experiencing the thing—often don’t know the fullness of the story or what our hearts are saying until later.
All to say—this makes for an impossible way to live. It is a setup for constant pressure, continual assessment, and curated actions.
But living with the focus of pleasing our Heavenly Father?
Well, that is a path with clear boundaries, careful instructions, creative possibilities, and under the control of the Holy Spirit.
And the best part? When we desire to pursue holiness and misstep, He lavishes grace. FULLY pours it out without a second thought or a “can you believe ___ did that?”
His perception? “That’s My kid. Keep going. Head up. I love you.”
Don’t live your life based on how it appears or how much the curated version impresses those around you; live for the Creator and you will be AMAZED at how your reputation, community, and lack of care for what others think sets you FREE.
Also, how much would it point to Heaven if you stayed the course DESPITE their gossip, betrayal, confusion, or lack of affirmation?
That’s just like Jesus.
Concern yourself with your Father. He made everyone else—He will take care of them, okay?
The fruit of your life will speak for itself.