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Don’t Be Defined By the Opinions of Others
By Victoria Osteen - Jul 18, 2011
I have a friend who is a beautiful, talented, vibrant woman. She has a vivacious, upbeat personality and is always full of enthusiasm and life. That's just who she is—positive and passionate. But not everyone embraces her positive personality.

One day at work as she entered the boardroom for an early morning meeting, she overheard a few of her co-workers talking about her. They said, "She is just so over-the-top all the time. Sometimes I want to say to her, 'Are you for real?' Oh, no. Here she comes. I just don't know if I can take her perkiness this morning."

My friend didn't say anything at the time, but those words really wounded her heart. Instead of going into that meeting with her sparkling personality, she quietly took her seat and remained withdrawn. She ultimately began doubting herself and tried to adjust her personality to counteract the words she overheard that day.

A few days later, she joined me and a group of friends for lunch. I noticed right away that she was quiet and more reserved, so I asked her what was wrong. After a moment of hesitation, she told us what had happened. She said she was going to tone down her personality so she would be more accepted by the other women in the office. I listened for a while, and then I said to her, "Are you kidding me? You are one of the brightest, most out-going, wonderful women I know! Your personality is great, and you can use it to influence a lot of people for good. Don't change who you are simply because your co-workers can't appreciate your gifts!" Everyone at the table agreed and began telling her how much they appreciated and enjoyed her vivacious personality.

Immediately, my friend realized that she was letting her co-workers' disapproval cause her to doubt herself and negatively affected her self-esteem. Do you ever find that you do something similar? Maybe someone in your life has said hurtful things about your personality, appearance or abilities, and you've altered yourself for their approval. Understand that just because somebody says something about you doesn't make it true.

Just as I told my friend, I'm telling you today—you are created in the image of Almighty God, and He gave you the gifts and personality you have for a purpose! You may not be like everyone else, but that's okay. Be who God made you to be and do not be defined by the opinions of other people!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:14, NIV).
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