I have always been somewhat of a people pleaser, but no more so than in my first few years of college. Still unsure of myself, I often let people walk all over me.
My sophomore year, specifically, is a great example. As second year members in my sorority, living in the house was mandatory for my entire class. We selected our rooms, chose our roommates and were all to meet at the house on move-in day. Being the prompt person that I am, my family and I were the first to arrive. I claimed my bed, laid out my belongings and just went through the motions of unpacking.
One by one my roommates began arriving, each having a problem with something that I had done. I had chosen the wrong bed. I had taken the wrong desk. Basically my existence was a problem! As hurt as I was to be casted aside almost immediately, I said nothing. So afraid of the backlash that would accompany a disagreement, I played coy. Intimidated from the start, that year’s living arrangements were nothing less than awful.
“Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.” – NIV
When I look back on this time, I often wonder: What was I afraid of? Was it the tiny adolescent female that rearranged my closet? Was is the awkward silence that consumed our room? In the grand scheme of things, was it anything that really deserved my fear?
We all let people intimidate us. We all let people restrict us. Despite our best efforts, it is my assumption that we all have found ourselves, literally, pushed around.
Jesus says that our only fear should be a fear of God. His will, and His will alone, is to be the overwhelming influence in our lives. There should never be people in this world who have a disproportionate influence on us.
God will put all of us in situations, from time to time, that will test our allegiance to Him. He will let people - and circumstances - seem huge and powerfully influential in our lives. It is during this time that we must decide: Who’s opinion matters most?