guess what? it really doesn’t matter.
I heard one of the best sermons of my life this past Sunday talking about overcoming anxieties. Yeah, we all deal with it in some form or fashion, but how are we truly “dealing” with it?
I want to touch on a big source of anxiety that the world loves to pin against us-
the opinions of those around us. You know what I’m talking about…those opinions you stand in the shower at night thinking about; the opinions you replay in your head while you’re driving or just trying to function; the opinions that practically define your life. That’s what I’m talking about. You can’t deny you’ve been strong through every hurtful word and rude conversation. In fact, most of the time, I’m sure you just shove it to the back of your mind as quickly as possible and never deal with it.
I’ve had my fair share of these conversations. They seem to happen daily, in fact. Sure, I’ve had people tell me “Kasey, ignore them. They’re just being stupid. You don’t need them” blah blah. So why doesn’t that advice work? Why do I still care about what my peers (or even total strangers) think of me?
The truth is, my mindset was never right until recently. I’ve always wanted nothing more than to make others happy in order to find friends or be the “cool” coworker. Becoming such a passive person meant suppressing any anxieties I had about conflict, even when I was hurting from the words of my so-called “friends”. I put their opinions over my own, and even worse, over my God. Having earthly relationships meant more to me than figuring out if I was doing God’s Work. How sad, right?
I overcame this fear of rejection by remembering one simple statement- It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what they think. It doesn’t matter what they said or if they judged me. In fact, who even cares if that person walked out of my life! What matters is how I give my anxieties up to God. How I choose to deal with the harshness of the world will define my peace with anxiety. I will not be held down by the opinions of others. As the Bible says, I am fearfully and wonderfully made (shout out to Psalm 139:14). When I ask Him to fix me from the inside, I will be able to handle the outside world.
My personality, my thoughts, and my image are NOT and WILL NOT be determined by the world. I will lose people along the way (let’s be honest…I already have). When you start living under God’s standards, people will not understand you. They won’t understand why you aren’t accepting of their hurtful behavior or why you won’t let negativity steal your peace.
Newsflash: Peace belongs to God. You should not allow others to take what doesn’t belong to them!!
So what are you going to do next time someone you know gives an unwarranted opinion about you? Tell yourself, “[Insert Name Here], IT DOESN’T MATTER.” And then you’re going to smile, give any lingering anxieties to God, and keep your peace.
You are so important to God. Everything about you was made with a purpose. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. You deserve to live the life you want without anyone’s suggestions, as long as it aligns with God’s Plan. Don’t let the enemy hold you down, even when it seems easier to give in to ignore the hurt. I promise you…you can be unstoppable when you give it all to Him!
God, you are the only one that understands me. I am constantly criticized on this earth, from what I wear to the life I choose to lead. Sometimes, I’d rather just not say anything so I can keep the people I have around me. I ask that you please help me to realize how much it all doesn’t even matter. Keep me focused on you and your opinions alone, for they are what drive my life. Take my anxieties, Lord, and teach me to be strong like you. I love you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.