When the Church raises her eyebrow: How to overcome the fear of judgment from your peers

The Bible is very clear about numerous things as it relates to how to live.  Do not lie, do not envy, and love your neighbor are just a few of many things that God specifically tells us to do or not do in His Word, both for our benefit and His glory.  What about all the things He doesn’t specifically tell us in His Word?  Such as the age your children should be when you trust them with a cell phone or other responsibilities; how much money is too much to spend on a vacation/home/car/clothing/college etc.; when to extend mercy and when to allow natural consequences to occur for your loved ones and the list can go on and on.  

I was recently in a conversation over the phone with someone and it quickly became evident that a decision my husband and I have made regarding our children was a ‘surprise’ to this person and her tone of voice, and the questions that followed indicated her critical judgement.  I found myself using phrases like ‘we have prayed and we have peace about this’ only to be met with “REEEELY???? Well, ok I guess that’s all you can ask for,” in a tone that communicated ‘I disagree and you’re an idiot.’  I realized after hanging up that I was trying desperately to have my friend understand and agree with our decision.  Why?   Why was I doing this?  I’ll tell you why, because I don’t like feeling criticized, being told what to do or made to feel like I’m judged as a Christian because I made a choice that is different from what she may make in the same situation, a situation that is not written plainly in God’s Word as to what would please God and be best for my children. I was feeling fear of what my friend would think and had fear of being judged as ‘bad’ because of it.  


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That’s when God spoke to my heart.  He reminded me that the church is the ‘body of Christ’ and that He is the head…He is the head because it’s only His eyebrows I should be concerned with raising and His Words that I should be concerned with obeying; both His written Word and that which He speaks personally to my heart. He is the head and He wants us to think what He thinks, say what He says, see what He sees and as the ‘body’ we are to do accordingly.  

Colossians 1:18 English Standard Version (ESV)  “And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church…”

To overcome the fear of judgment I had to do the following:

  1. Remember that only God’s judgments matter

  2. Pray for my friend to fully know and receive God's love

  3. Recite verses that remind me that God loves me, He knows me, He knows my situation and I do not need anyone else’s approval

  4. Recall the times I have made judgments of others’ choices and ask God to forgive me and help me to not do it again.  In other words, my friend is misguided in her judgement as I too have been in the past and we are all in the process of learning to be more like Him.

One of the many amazing things about God is that He is deeply committed to and knows every detail about each person created in His image, even the hairs of our head are numbered. He has plans and a purpose for each of us and that may also mean that different things are permissible for different people at different ages and in different circumstances and only God can truly know.  Obey Him and do not fear man and you will have peace.

“And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” Daniel 10:19 ESV

Fearless in Him,

Jamie

Do you struggle with ‘people pleasing’ or have a strong desire to have others like and agree with you?  Julie and I would love to give you some personalized tips for your situation at no charge in a 20-min. call which you can schedule here.

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