What will they …
Are you afraid of people’s opinion? Are you concerned what “they” think? Most are. Whether we admit it or not, a significant portion of what we do is to influence others’ opinion of us. I have a few thoughts about this.
Who are these “they” people and what does it matter what they think? Can their opinion of us really make a difference in our lives? The answer is … “It depends.”
Just an aside for a moment: I know for an absolute fact that “THEY” exist. I have seen “THEY”. I was behind “THEY” one day on an interstate highway. “THEY” drive a black Ford F150 pickup truck with a license tag that clearly reads “THEY”. FYI: I really didn’t care what “THEY” said or thought.
If you put yourself under their authority or allow them to have a measure of control in your life, then their opinion may be able to affect you. Though we are subject to some opinions by default, e.g., family, teachers, or employers, over most we have a measure of control.
If you consider your identity, value, and self-worth to be in your relationship with God, it is irrelevant what anyone thinks. In this case, it is God’s opinion of you that sets the standard. If God’s opinion determines who you are, then no one else can change it. It works like this:
If I have an online financial account and someone does not have the credentials (username and password, etc.) to access it, they are unable to change it. If I give them the credentials, then they can log in and do bad things. The point is not to let them have the credentials.
It is the same with you in the security of who and what you are. Only two should have the credentials to change who and what you are: You and God. Do not give the credentials for your life to ANYONE else but God.
In today’s Scripture passage, Jacob learned a lesson about this. God was blessing him. Others (Laban’s sons) became jealous and greedy. They wanted to hurt him because he was successful. So, they set about to slander him.
And, if you will notice, it worked … at first. As long as Jacob’s wellbeing and future depended on his father-in-law, Laban’s sons were able to hurt him. God intervened for Jacob and gave him instructions. Essentially, God said to Jacob: “Your wellbeing is in My hands and I will make it work out for your best. I’m taking you out of Laban’s influence. Do what I say and I will handle it.” In short, Jacob followed God’s instructions and God did what He said He would do.
Our takeaway is to understand that regardless of what anyone says or does, if we reckon our wellbeing to be in God’s control, it will be. (And if we don’t, it won’t.) God is able to do whatever needs to be done in our lives so long as we respect what He says and we follow His instructions. As long as we are in agreement with Him, there is nothing anyone can do in the long run.
In the short run, as happened to Jacob in today’s passage, they may be able to have limited influence. They may have their little fun and run their nefarious schemes. They will not ultimately be successful because it is not over until God says it is over–and it will not be over until He does what He has decided will be done about you and them.
Our responsibility–the most important thing of all–is to be in agreement with God. When we are, God is able to make all things work for our good. When we are not, we are outside of His authority and influence and at the mercy of those who do not have our wellbeing at heart. (Don’t count on them having ANY mercy!)
So, what will they think? And the answer is … WHO CARES! Choose not to be afraid of their opinions, attitudes, slander, or schemes. Look to God and care what He thinks of you more than anyone–including yourself.
Today’s Seed™ Scripture and Prayer for May 29, 2023:
But Jacob soon learned that Laban’s sons were beginning to grumble. “Jacob has robbed our father!” they said. “All his wealth has been gained at our father’s expense.” And Jacob began to notice a considerable cooling in Laban’s attitude toward him. Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your father and grandfather and to your relatives there, and I will be with you.” (Gen 31:1-3 NLT)
Prayer: LORD, even when I have done nothing wrong, bad attitudes can influence the way others perceive me. When someone speaks falsely against me, help me not take offense. Instead, enable me to trust that no matter what anyone says, does, or intends, You can bring about Your will and purpose in my life as long as I am in agreement with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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About Randall Vaughn:
With 40+ years as pastor, author, teacher, worship leader, and songwriter, Randall pioneered E-MIN in 1997–one of the earliest online ministries and today the longest operating. His passion is leading people to deeper, genuine relationship with God. He lives in Alabama with his lovely wife, Karen, and their dogs, Hadi and Rayah. He enjoys hiking, exploring new tech, and “prayer walks”.
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