We can probably all agree that as a culture we are more consumed than ever with what people think of us. Thanks to technology and “social” media, many people, especially the younger generations, spend nearly every waking moment of their lives somehow tied to not only their community of close friends, but the entire world. Hours a day being bombarded by the highlight reel of other’s lives. And it’s not just technology. We all watch those around us and silently compare what we perceive with what we know about ourselves. Coupled with that built in desire we all have to be successful, cool, and admired, this outside pressure usually results in us believing a false reality and adapting our actions accordingly. You know what I’m talking about. Those people online and in real life that are carefully constructing an alternate persona based on a perceived standard they have built from those around them. Simply put, it’s the whole “keeping up with the Joneses” on steroids.
But let’s go a step deeper. I would venture to guess that much of this behavior is not based on desire, but fear. Fear of what people will think, fear of what people will say behind your back, or even worse, to your face. I know I’ve felt it and I’m sure you have to. And you know what? It’s paralyzing. Fear causes us to not act and not open our mouth. It causes us to remain motionless. It’s been said that it’s far better to be moving in any direction than to stand still. Because what happens when you stand still, paralyzed by fear? You do NOTHING. Nothing at all. When you look back on your life, your one life here on Earth, do you want to see nothing? No way! We all want to have an impact. So what are we afraid of? Don’t let fear control you. Move confidently, even if it results in a failure. Keep your eyes focused on God and trust Him to guide you. You report to Him alone, not to any other man. And by the way, a lot of the gossip that goes on behind your back will be because those people are so busy being paralyzed by fear and doing nothing they simply have nothing to do but be critical! So get out there and move! Doing and being nothing isn’t worth it!