For most of my life, I have obsessed and worried over what people thought of me. I have so desperately wanted to fit this mold of society—the mold that says you need to think or act a certain way or you will be rejected—that blending in seemed the better alternative to sticking out.
For example, back in high school I was so afraid of speaking my mind. The only time I would talk in class would be to ask a question or make sure I got 100% participation.
Coming to college, I realized how stupid this was. I was hiding my thoughts and feelings in fear of being rejected. My voice was seldom heard and because of this, I wasn’t heard. Just because I was afraid of what people would think. How stupid!
So many times, I’m worried about what people will say or think of me, that God’s opinion comes second. And as a Christian, this is not okay. This could never be okay.
Once I argued with my mother, citing one of my favorite quotes: “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is who you are and you’re reputation is what people think you are.”
She responded by saying, “But we still live in the world...”
What better reason to disagree? Because we live in the world, we are constantly on the battlefield. How can it ever be okay to become like everyone else when sin and brokenness engulf everything around us?
In 1 Thessalonians 2:4, Paul says:
“On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God.”
This is what it all comes down to at the end of the day. Who are we actually aiming to please?
We are created to be so much more than people pleasers. If you have something to say, do not be afraid to say it. If God is calling you to do something different or unusual, don’t be caught up in what people think.
At the end of the day, God created you to be you, and absolutely nothing else. So stop trying to fit the mold.
Nina Thomas is a sophomore InterVarsity student and blogs at ninarachel621.wordpress.com.This post is part of a ten-week series where students across the country are studying and reflecting on 1 & 2 Thessalonians this summer.