I remember so clearly when our children were small, worrying about what other parents might think of my parenting style or how my kids behaved. My mind would try to wander into the minds of the other women in my life, and I would play out scenarios in my head, displaying their thoughts. I knew who might snarl their lip at how many chances I gave my toddler before putting them in time-out. Or when I trained my child not to jump on someone else’s furniture, I just knew my “free-style” parenting friend was going to call up her mama when I left and talk about how strict I was on my kids.
Some things take time and with time comes wisdom and with wisdom comes the sharp truth that Paul speaks of in Galatians.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
I wish I could go back and tell my young mama self to just stop. I wish I could tell her she was chosen specifically to raise those children and that only she would know what the best mommy methods would be for them. I wish I could tell her that the amount of time, anxiety, and brain power used up on wondering what others thought would be a total waste of energy that could be used to encourage friends to be the best mothers they could be too.
If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
In order to be a servant of Christ then, we have to live our lives with only Christ in mind; His opinion is all that matters. And thank goodness, because He is fair, just, and always knows the intentions of our hearts. Not only that, but He knows what it’s like to have unruly children and have His own reputation at stake!
I found great freedom when I realized I only needed to live for an audience of one — the One.
The One who looks at my heart, not my outward appearance.
The One who is concerned with my spiritual growth, not the growth of my bank account.
The One who sees how hard I work at my jobs, whether my co-workers do or do not.
The One who hears my prayers for others, even on days I don’t feel prayed for.
The One who sees me folding clothes at night, even when my children don’t have a clue.
The One who sees my tears roll, even if I don’t deserve to be shedding them.
The One who has a future planned for me, even when I feel like I’ve lost my way.
An audience of One.
What would your life be like if you didn’t have to worry about anyone else’s opinions?
What if you didn’t have to worry about their opinions on how you dress, how long you grow your hair, or how little or much you eat; on what you do for a living, whether you went to college, or whether you finished high school with a GED; on whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a work-outside-of-the-home mom, or a stay-at-home spouse with no children in the home.
The key to releasing the chains of others’ opinions is found by resting in the peace of Christ.
There are still times that I catch myself worrying about what someone else may think of me. It’s something I have to guard against. But over time, at the end of the day when my head hits the pillow, I’ve found my thoughts resting on whether I served Him well and whether I made Him proud.
And that’s really all that matters.
In order to be a servant of Christ, we have to live our lives with only Christ in mind; His opinion is all that matters. -Kellie Johnson: Click To Tweet