I used to portray to people that I didn’t care what they said about me or even that I was a good sport when it came to constructive criticism. But I did care, and I do care what people think about me. Even if it's to help me in a situation or to push me to be more like Jesus, I have to mentally prepare for those moments!
People on social media are so good to show how addicted they are to people’s feedback. Back in 2017, I believed that September 23rd of that year that something would happen because Virgo in the stars had a 12 stars above her head and Jupiter, the king planet, was perfectly in her womb area, and the moon was under her feet and the sun was also aligned– describing Revelation 12:1-2. Did I think that the world would end? No. Was I convinced the rapture would happen? No, but it sure would have been nice! I really wasn’t sure, but I was excited and expectant for something to happen. I kept it to myself (except for a select few I trusted) for most of the year, because I was super afraid of what others thought.
About a month before September 23rd, I decided to go for it and post about it because I was wondering if anyone else was expectant too. If there were people who were expectant, they didn’t say anything. But the people who thought I was a whackadoodle made sure to let me know what they thought of me and my observations. One person commented that they were disappointed in me and the ministry I was a part of for having these thoughts. Another person just commented with a GIF of a guy in foil hat. One comment or message I did not receive was asking questions about it, or what I thought, or how I came to this thinking.
More than anything, I wish people would have asked me questions.
This season of expectancy drew me closer to God than ever before. It woke me out of my complacency, out of the numbness towards the great commission, and out of the passionless existence I was living. I wanted to share the Gospel with people, and I finally got my excitement back to do. Tried to share the gospel every day on social media (which also got push back from people who claimed to be Christ followers) and was intentional about having spiritual conversations. And if I didn’t share the gospel, I would at least share a scripture or two. God showed me different avenues to share the gospel, like through the constellations and how my garden was growing. I listened to 176 books and countless sermons and YouTube videos that year about a very broad variety of topics. God and I wrote lots of blog posts, sometimes late at night, pouring out all that He was teaching me. I was even actively working out, which I had NEVER done, because I wanted every part of my life to be obedient to Jesus and not have my flesh dictate my actions.
Even though this was most of my year, in one month with one or two posts people judged quickly that I wasn’t worth listening to. The disappointment I felt from people’s reaction demoralized me from all that God was doing in and through me. Was it other’s fault that I didn’t keep doing all the right and good things? Absolutely not! My greatest fear was exposed – my fear of not being accepted by others. And I would spent the next couple years recovering and grappling with this crippling fear of what others thought. It really hasn’t been until the COVID quarantine in 2019 that God brought it up and had me deal with my sin of being so concerned about what others think of me.
You know what has been my biggest comfort? Yes, knowing the truth of who I am in Christ, but also realizing that heavenly me will be different and seen through the eyes of sinless people. Seriously! Can you imagine what it will be like to interact with other sinless people?? We’re not going to judge looks or the various ways we see the same thing. We’ll still have our uniqueness without the sin of manipulating parts of ourselves – the masks of who we want to be perceived as will be removed. We will seek to understand and be able to communicate in a way that others will understand. We will act and respond like we truly want to be our sin won’t get in the way and other’s sin won’t misconstrue our intentions. We will be fully known and absolutely believe that we’re fully known by God – don't you think that would fundamentally change how we act in and of itself? We will see people through the lens of only grace, mercy, love through Jesus Christ, instead of questioning people’s motives or assuming one thing or another about them. We will live boldly by do our heavenly jobs without questioning if others think we’re qualified or not. We will be passionate about Jesus day in and day out!
How do you think you will act and respond to yourself knowing you won’t be affected by what others think in heaven?
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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