"What are people going to think of me?" - Finding Validation from the Father

By Peter DeWitt

When I was 10 years old I stood in front of a mirror and I said “why don’t people like me?” It was a real vulnerable spot for a little 10 year old kid’s heart. “Why don’t people like me?” I remembered that 30 seconds for more than 2 decades after that. Why? Holy Spirit was bringing it up.

 First I said “why don’t people like me?” But next I said “I’ll show them.” A vow (which is what I made there) is the flesh’s response to judgment. It says “let me pull up my bootstraps … I’m going to show them … I’m going to avoid judgment myself!”

So many people are walking around with a nebulous sense of “what are people going to think of me?” I would venture to say that I used to spend 30, 40, 50, 60, 70% of my brain’s energy caring about what people would think of me. I know that I have often “wound myself up” before spending time with other people to make sure that I looked good. I didn’t want to be rejected anymore.

But you cannot find validation in your peer group. You can only find validation in your Father. You don’t want to be searching for walnuts up an acorn tree. You can spend your whole life spinning your wheels wondering “why am I not finding validation here?” IT’S A TRAP.

Sons and daughters - stop performing and instead enter the rest of the acceptance of the Father.

Orphans are competing with one another to find a father-figure. All the while, when you finally come to your senses, like the younger prodigal son, and say “I’m going to come back to my father” we come with all of our performance and all of the things that we think we’re going to do to win His love and the Father says “SHHHH … I’m going to kiss you.”
“You don’t understand yet, and that’s OK. I’m glad you’re home. Welcome home.”

Whoever you give the right to justify you, you also give the right to condemn you. Sometimes that looks like people pleasing. Sometimes that can also looks like self-judgment. When you want to people please badly enough you will actually pre-judge yourself to make sure that you are in line with what you “need to be” before you’re with other people.

Self-judgment will weaponize your conscience against you.

If you have an overactive conscience, I would venture to say that you’ve engaged in self-judgment. Many people who grew up in religious-type environments have this mindset because they’ve learned all the “good to do” and they are working on doing all of those good things and managing their heart to do all of those good things … so that they could “be right.”

But authority doesn’t rest on right-ness, it rests on relationship.
So instead of trying to “be right” in order to have relationship, we can have relationship that causes us walk rightly!

“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Ps. 23:3b)
Thank you, Father, that you give us unconditional love and we can only receive validation from you. Thank you that my authority in you does not rely on being good enough, but instead on relationship with you. I can come to you and rest in the acceptance you give me. Please help me to receive your love in my heart to fully understand I no longer need to perform to receive it and I no longer need to look elsewhere for validation.
Listen to the sermon below - "Returning Home to your Father"
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