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Please an Audience of One
By Joel Osteen - Jan 27, 2023

Too many people make decisions based on what other people will think about them. They run everything through a filter: "How's this going to make me look? Will my friends and coworkers be impressed and applaud, or will they look down on me?" Instead of being confident in who God made them to be, they let the opinion of others determine what they do and who they are. They don't realize they're addicted to approval. They have to keep pleasing others in order to feel good about themselves, and it only leads to frustration. Psychologists call this FOPO--Fear of Other People's Opinions.

We all want to be liked, but some people will never give you their approval no matter what you do to try to please them. There will be seasons where people are for you, then times when they're not. Your destiny is not predicated on other people's approval of you. When God laid out your plan, He didn't call twelve of your friends to help decide who you were going to be. No, He called you, equipped you, gave you favor. When you're secure in who He made you to be, then you know you're valuable, talented, attractive, and a masterpiece. You don't have to have anyone else's validation.

People had all kinds of opinions about the apostle Paul. Some people loved him, others hated and attacked him, and some put him down. But despite all this opposition, he wrote almost half the books of the New Testament and impacted the world in amazing ways. He gives us a secret of how he handled the pressure of people's approval: "It matters very little to me what you think of me" (1 Corinthians 4:3). He wasn't trying to please everyone. He was living to please an audience of One, the One who called him to be an apostle. He added, "My conscience is clear." He was saying,"I've done what God put in my heart. To the best of my ability, I pursued the goals and dreams that He's placed in me." Are you sacrificing who you are because you're addicted to others' approval? Don't miss your greatness because you're dependent on people approving you.

Don't let the opinions of others hold you back. You can't follow what God put in your heart if you're always trying to play up to what other people think and approve. You have to break free from what people think about you. You don't have to fit into their mold. You don't have to have their approval; you have Almighty God's approval. Don't live to please people, live to please God. Be bold and be courageous. He's the One who holds your destiny.

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