Q: How can I stop worrying about what people think of me? — P.P.
A: We must not have a victim mentality. Excessive sensitivity to what others say about us can cause us to become overly absorbed in worry and anxiety over other people’s opinions based on their own self-subscribed standards.
We should not be hypersensitive to criticism or entertain an exaggerated sense of our own importance. This brings great unhappiness. Some people are insecure, lacking in self-confidence, and are therefore easily bruised by what other people say. Many egocentric people fall victim.
An illustration is the paranoid person who sees two acquaintances talking together and jumps to the conclusion that they are discussing her faults. She retreats into the torture chamber of her own mind, where she manufactures misery. Run from paranoia as you would run from a plague.
But the greatest solution to this very real problem is to surrender to Christ. Turn from self-absorption to being immersed in God’s truth. The most important thing anyone can do on their own behalf is to be humble before the Savior and ask forgiveness of sin and receive Him as the Lord. He sends His Spirit to help us through this journey. More important than what people think of us is what God knows about us, and His word tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But He is waiting to hear our confession. He is waiting to redeem us and give us a new life in Christ. “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.