I know we shouldn’t care about the way people view us, but I must confess that it does cross my mind occasionally. As I approach my senior year of college, I think back to what the seniors looked like when I was a freshman; they seemed so “together”. I would listen to them nonchalantly mention student teaching and working, and I just sat there, dreaming about the days when I would be a senior and my life would miraculously fall into place; I would get to speak about these scary, daunting feats in a confident “been there-done that” tone.
Now I am that senior. I look in the mirror and wonder why this wisdom and confidence hasn’t arrived yet. The thought of standing up in front high-schoolers and teaching them anything makes my legs tremble just like it did my freshman year. I’m twenty-one years old, and I have yet to pass my driver’s test; I mean most sixteen year-olds in America have me beat with that one. “There is no way any freshman looks at me and thinks ‘oh man, she’s a senior; she’s got it all figured out’” I think to myself as I still stand in front of the mirror. Maybe there is. I don’t know what people think after all.
“What do people think of me?” I wonder again. As I mentioned earlier I’m aware that what people think of me shouldn’t matter. I know we live in a society that thrives on the “I-don’t-care-what-anyone-thinks-of-me” mentality, but you can’t deny human nature. Approval is a basic human need. I mean I just want to live in such a way that when my name comes up in conversation people don’t have a disgusted look on their face. Haha. Then I found the answer.
“Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart; so shalt thou find favor with God and man.” Proverbs 3:3 &4
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52
“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7
The reference were a little vague and random, but they spoke to me. This whole time I was looking in the wrong place. It’s not wrong to want approval; it’s wrong to make your decisions based on the approval of others and how they will view you. I should be seeking the approval of God. If in the future there is a girl that looks at me and thinks I have it all together; I will have to tell her my secret: it’s God holding me together by a seam.