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People's Opinion

Hey friends, I’m glad you’ve joined me on this journey to thrive and live on purpose. So of recent, my daughter joined me to my doctor’s appointment. Her intention was to go to the shops nearby and meet me in the doctor’s waiting area afterwards so we could drive back home together. Apparently when she got to the waiting area and didn’t see me, she proceeded to text me to tell me where she was, and an elderly lady in the waiting area decided to have a go at her to ask her why teenagers are always on their phone? Apparently that lady had an opinion about almost everything going on in the waiting area in the short time she waited there. When I came out and she told me I laughed, knowing my daughter, and proceeded to re-iterate another life lesson to her which I would unpack today. You see this woman is a total stranger, she does not know my daughter but in a way had formed an opinion in a short time which in this case was untrue. This particular daughter of mine is hardly with her phone. While I can ground my other daughter by taking her phone, I can’t with this one. In fact we have to constantly have a go at her for not charging her phone, putting me in panic mode because she went out without her phone. So was the woman right to assume that my daughter is always on her phone? Not so. She had jumped to conclusion. So today I want to talk about people’s opinion and how we can thrive irrespective of it.

If you recall from last week’s podcast, this is one of the reasons that hold us back from living our life to the full. We all have an opinion about everything and social media has made it easy for every and anyone to share their opinion whether they are being asked or not. So what do you do about people’s opinion? How can you make sure that you are not living your life based on what other’s think about you?

The first thing is to set your priorities right by living for the audience of one. Set your priorities right by living for God. Let his word guide you first. With his word guiding you, you will not be tossed to and fro by every other person's opinion. People will always have something to say even when you feel you are doing things right. Living for the audience of the one who created the whole universe makes life less complicated especially in an era where one can be easily judged and misunderstood. When you live to please God, you know what is expected of you and what values to be guided by. You wouldn’t do things contrary to what God expects of you even if it you have to make an unpopular decision. You can easily know where you stand about a situation without needing to please others, without being tossed here and there by what others want you to do or say. It is so liberating to not be guided by other’s opinion but by God’s opinion and what he expects of you.

The next point is to know whose opinion matters to you. Recognise those in your life who are rooting for you and has the right to speak into your life. Who are you doing life with? Not necessary your friends or mates but also people more advanced than you, that have your best interest at heart. Intentionally build the right people around you that would invest in your progress and want to see you thrive. People who can be sincere with you to ask you key questions that would cause you to think in the right direction. People who will be genuine with you, whose opinion you can take on board. Don’t let just anybody withdraw from where they have not deposited. There should be people in your world that you respect enough to speak into your life. Not everyone should have the right to do so. Guide your heart jealously in that aspect.

The third point I want you to know is that not everyone will like you or agree with you, and that’s okay. This is key to settle in your heart. Even the most loved person has enemies and the most notorious people have friends who share the same cause with them. So don’t judge yourself and what you do based on how many people like you or liked your social media post. We have a perfect example in Jesus, with all the miracles he performed and the right he did for the world, he still had haters who crucified him eventually. It can be a hard pill to swallow especially if you are a people pleaser but it is a truth that would set you free and keep you thriving.

Another point to make is that it is common to see that something someone says bothers you. Of course we are humans and we might first be bothered by other’s negative opinion but we need to nip it in the board so it loses its power to affect us. How can you do this. By analysing the situation; first who said it? How well does this person know you? Does the person have the full story or just being judgmental? Analyse it without taking it personal. Remember the third point I made, not everyone will like you. Be curious as to why that person’s opinion really hurt you. Is it the people pleasing traits that is making you hurt or something else. Then like I have said in my previous podcast, take that thought to court. Is it really true what they have said or was that just a clueless comment from someone who doesn’t matter? And in most cases it is. At times you might be compelled to explain your intentions especially to people who have earned the right to speak into your life. However be careful about falling into the trap of having to explain yourself to everyone. You have a choice to ignore and keep making progress.

A very profound story is one about Nehemiah in the bible chapter 6. Let me put it simply, he was a man on a mission and he was trying to be stopped by some few who started spreading the wrong comments about it and required him to respond to them. Nehemiah chose to ignore them so as not to be distracted from his mission and he said these words in Nehemiah chapter 6 vs 9: 'They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination'. And in verse 15 of that chapter, he wrote that his mission was accomplished. So my friends, stick to your motive and intention and do not be distracted by opinions that do not matter. Live your life for the audience of one, and keep winning , thriving and shining. God bless.

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