America is currently having a problem with identity theft. The advancement of technology and our shift to buying and selling things online has added to this crisis. People who steal other’s identities will use their credit score and bank accounts to live a life that is not truly reflective of them, but rather of someone else.
A similar thing happens when we worry too much about what other people think rather than what God thinks. We begin to adopt the identit…ies of people we see on television or successful people we read about rather than remaining true to who we are. Worrying about other people’s acceptance of us is one of the greatest strongholds to overcome. This is different than co-dependence that we looked at on an earlier day. People-pleasing strongholds can lead to other strongholds such as perfectionism, over-working, and obsessive body-imaging thoughts and actions.
What is the cause of this stronghold? In Galatians 1, we read about the religious leaders called Judaizers who sought to place Christians under a performance standard “under the law” thereby abandoning grace.
In Galatians 1:10, Paul talks about these well-meaning, Bible-quoting leaders who were ripping the saints away from grace, “Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” Paul is saying that it is possible to be more people-oriented than God-oriented. Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.”
Satan uses our legitimate need for acceptance in an illegitimate way that can result in us living under a false identity. You’ll notice how confused people are who want to please everyone – one minute they are pleasing one person, the next minute they are pleasing someone else. They have to be around people that are making them feel good – otherwise they become depressed.
You will begin to overcome your stronghold of worrying when you decide what God says about you is most important.
The God, who does not change, loves you with an everlasting love. He has seen your ugly cry, your days without make-up or messed up hair and has heard your rants and raves . . .yet still loves you! If you are driven by approval of people remember that they are fallible and their emotions are shifting.