Even though I'm approaching my 26th birthday this year, I'm still learning something about myself every day. It's a part of life. Yesterday I was reminded that I feel much better when I start my day right. A short visit with a friend makes a world of difference in my mood and attitude throughout the day. I often find myself coming in to work in the morning grumpy or moody, but I think that's simply because I haven't had anyone to share the morning with.
I'm more of a people person than I would like to admit. On the other hand, I find myself avoiding people when the occasion arises. My dichotomous nature keeps me on my toes, but I'm learning that fatigue and stress have a huge part to play.
The part that has me concerned, though, is how I am much too sensitive to what others might think of me. Get that word: might. I have no idea what people think about me, but I hear myself telling Jake something akin to, "I can't do that, they'll judge me" OR "everyone thinks I'm bla bla bla" time and time again. He's so wise, that husband of mine. He keeps reminding me that we don't need to fear man (besides that, we don't even know what they're thinking, so it's no use speculating). My fear of what others might say or do can be debilitating, and I get unnecessarily stressed out trying to live up to their expectations- at least, the expectations I think exist (when, it reality, they most likely don't). This tension is hard to live with.
I took some time this morning to look up verses that talk about this struggle. I definitely need the encouragement from God's Word!
"Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner;
but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will not be abolished.
Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is My law:
Do not fear the reproach of men,
nor be afraid of their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool;
but My righteousness will be forever, and my salvation from generation generation."
fear of man
brings a snare, but whoever
trusts in the Lord
shall be safe."
"Jesus said: 'Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And
do not fear
those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather
who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Do not fear
you are of more value than many sparrows."
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
Ultimately, it is the Lord that I should be fearing. He is God! He is the creator of the universe, and he demands reverence and holy fear. And yet, He is my Father, and He keeps me safe when my humanity fears what I cannot see. He is the one who brings salvation. May His Name be praised forever!
**Emphases are mine