Living in Light of Your “Audience of One”

Many women are extremely concerned with—even panicked by—the negative judgments they perceive are directed their way by what I think of as two overlapping categories of people: the people whose opinions do not matter and the people whose opinions are wrong.

The people whose opinions don’t matter include sales clerks, waiters, fellow elevator passengers, church members whose names you don’t know, women in the supermarket aisle, and relatives you see only once or twice a year at the family reunion and Christmas. Usually the judgments of these people are unspoken and reside mainly in your imagination. You know what you think of yourself, so you assume others are thinking, “I can’t believe how fat she’s gotten,” or “Doesn’t she know if she orders that it will make her even fatter?” Judgments are inferred from facial expressions or body language, always with a negative “spin.” These judgment, however, do not matter, because they have no ultimate effect on your life (except to the extent that you take them to heart) because these people play no significant role in your day-to-day existence, AND there is only one Person’s judgment that truly matters because He holds absolutely all the cards regarding your life and destiny.

God has told you—if you are a believer in Jesus Christ and his atoning death for your sins—that His judgment regarding you is completely settled:  “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). If God does not condemn you, what does it matter that any stranger does?

The people whose opinions are wrong are anyone who judges you from a worldly perspective. God does not judge you according to your appearance (1 Sam. 16:7,b, 1 Pet. 3:3-4), so anyone who does judge you by your looks (or anyone you even think might be judging you by your looks) is mistaken to do so. That person does not fully understand the nature of the Gospel and the character and values of God. If your heart is right with the Lord (as it absolutely is when you trust in Christ), then you’re all right with God.

Worried about what others are thinking about your size, weight, wrinkles, or grey hair? Ask God what He thinks of you and see if your concern over the superficial fades. Remember the old chorus that tells you to “turn your eyes upon Jesus”? Its basis is in 2 Cor. 3:18. When our focus is on God and his values, the things of this world—and its judgments about us—grow “strangely dim.”

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