Do You Get Hung Up On What Others 'May' Be Thinking of You?

There are certain laws in place that don’t change such as gravity. There are others that are fairly predictable such as reaping & sowing, and regardless of how you drop a slice of bread, it always lands butter-side-down!

Another seemingly predictable law that is set in motion is judgment. We as humans are always judging. We judge ourselves harshly based on how we 'feel' on the inside and compare that image of ourself to the 'outside' of another who we view when they have their best-foot-forward. 

We measure others up one side and down the other. 

How nice it would be to become more like my dog who is completely non-judgmental and loves me unconditionally as a result. Remind you of anyone??

It is amazing how often we have done something or have opted not to do something based on what we “think” others would say or think about our choice. This prevents us from being free to live authentically. 

How can we best choose where we believe God may be leading if we first have to check in with the judgment panel?

Now, I’m not saying we don’t need accountability and support in our lives. These are extremely important. 

People who know us well enough to be a source of support and accountability for us do so based on a certain level of permission we have given them to speak into our lives. They have listened to our hearts and shared in our joys and sorrows. 

They are in place because they have earned what I like to call “relational” capital and we seek the investment they make in our lives. We are better because of the check and balance system these folks share with us.

The point I am making is that there are some who really do not have our best interest at heart. They are self-appointed judges to determine and verbalize to us what we need to be doing or not doing or perhaps, doing differently. 

A good indicator of relationships with these people is that we basically feel like we have to be defensive to protect our treasures, i.e. our thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams around them because they “feel” they have the right to have a “say” in the choices we make.

Whether or not we have given permission for certain people to speak into our lives, we are training them that this is acceptable behavior unless we are pro-active. 

It may be necessary to communicate that we are able to make our choices and ask for help when needed, or we may find ourselves paralyzed to move forward based on what we “think” they may “think” we should or should not do.

This limits our ability to live freely and often to achieve greater things in life. 

I believe those we have invited to speak truth into our lives sometimes may need to tell us what we need to hear. This can greatly benefit us because the view they see may be more accurate than the one we 'see' or 'think' we see. 

If those who are commited to our welfare will be refreshingly honest with us we can grow. 

However, if we have significant people in our lives routinely tell us what we want to hear, they really do more harm than good. 

If someone cares and respects us,  they will set their pre-judgments aside and truly listen with an intent to help us discern what would be best for us in the way of creating a life we desire. 

When we are making choices that align with our overall direction in life, they can cheerlead and urge us on. 

When we are considering a choice that is not in alignment, they have the courage and permission to remind us of our hopes and desires and question us on where we are in the journey.

The key difference is that someone who believes in us and respects our choices and our right to make them, will ASK questions as opposed to TELL us what they think. 

The “telling” part and the asking of “Why” often makes it seem we are backed in a corner. The result is that we may become defensive and make bad choices to “prove” that we can do whatever we want. Nobody wins in this cycle.

I believe God has ignited a candle of passion within each of us to pro-actively seek the purpose(s) He has for us. 

We will experience the greatest peace and contentment when we are actively pursuing the path that lets us live out the purposes that we are passionate about. 

It is also a journey of continual learning and growth. We are all designed for greatness in the things that matter most in our lives. 

We can best achieve this by aligning our will with God’s, having wise counsel and finding our gifting and passion by working and living within these areas. 

The best analogy I can have for going against our passion and trying to do life or work a job for some other reason, such as money, prestige etc. is that of certain hair types. (I was in the hair industry for many years!) 

Often people with curly hair spend countless hours and dollars trying to straighten and smooth down their hair. While folks with fine, straight hair are trying to color, perm and add volume to their hair, also at a great cost of time, money and frustration. 

I often recommended that they work “with” what they have and not "against" it.

In order to get over believing that what other people think about us is so important, it is wise to remember that their opinions of us are really none of our business. 

What difference do their opinions make? That all depends on whether we choose to allow it to make a difference or not. The freedom to choose is ours. The power to choose can be ours or we can pass that off if we listen too long to the voices of what others “think”.

I am reminded of a quote that I love from our pastor at our former church in the Atlanta area. He would say to be properly aligned with truth, we need to realize that we often struggle with: "I am who I THINK you THINK I am".

Since that's a tongue-twister at best, here are my thoughts..... If I am overly concerned (and over-thinking) what I believe you think of me, I begin to believe (and likely emulate) whatever it is I think you are thinking of me. 

However, IF I were to choose to let the "YOU" in that quote be God alone, my whole understanding can change.

I know certain truths about God... He loves me unconditionally. He says I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. He tells me He knew me before He formed me in my mother's womb. He gave His Son to take my place so I could choose Him and spend eternity in His presence. 

So, if I CHOOSE to take God at His Word, this can change everything about the way I 'see' me and I can joyfully align with "I am WHO I THINK God THINKS I am!" Wow, how refreshing is that?!?!?

What is the big fear of what others may judge us to be or not be? More than likely it is a fear of failure or a fear of rejection. 

But in reality, what’s the big deal if something doesn’t work the way we had hoped or the outcome doesn't look the way we envisioned? And what if, everyone doesn't love us like Jesus?

We can choose to simply try again, the next time we will have more experience. We never truly “fail” unless we quit trying to find a way to get to an outcome that we can be satisfied with.

And we can choose to accept that we are not going to connect on a deep level with some people. And that is okay. 

I believe if we have 3-5 really close friends that we connect with on a routine basis, we are among the richest people in the world.... rich in what truly matters!

The best way to face the fear of what others think and get through to living the life we choose is simply to visualize the worst case scenario and ask ourselves what would we do if this or that happens? 

We can play it out in our mind (or on paper) and often begin to see things that may not have been as clear when our idea was merely a dream.

My grandmother always said, “when people (the ones who judge) are talking about ‘you’ (or me) they are leaving someone else alone”. 

Meaning that the one thing that is certain is that as sure as people will always be talking, they will always be judging. This is something we have no power to change.

But we do have the power to choose. 

Do you want to live in the freedom you have to create a life you love, are passionate about and do not need to escape from? 

Or are you satisfied to let other people decide what you can or cannot accomplish?

The choice, either way, is up to you!

Until next time....

-Sheri xo

Sheri Geyer is a Boundaries Coach for Women

Are YOU Ready to create Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships.... even when it's hard? If so, we need to talk!

I'd like to invite you to Sign Up for My Free Weekly Mastermind Group beginning June 18, 2024 on Tuesdays at 12 noon EDT, https://joyfilledrelationships.com/page/mastermind

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Do You Believe God is Fair?

It may appear that fairness has become one of the gold-standards of American culture. Everyone is equal. For anyone to receive any kind of preference is perceived to be discriminating against them and has the potential to bring a lawsuit. In many ways, this can be perceived as good and entirely appropriate for any free society.

While it may appear so, fairness does not mean that every person gets the same thing. The true meaning of fairness is that 'we get what we deserve'

When we think of what it means to be fair, we can compare it to two separate mindsets: 

*A person holding a negative view of themselves or the world, may believe there is no escape for them to think, feel or believe any other way, except that they are not 'good'. 

*Another person who may typically see the more positive side of things, may have the expectation that since they’ve never been arrested they are truly good in the eyes of God.

Love isn't necessarily fair. Love prefers the beloved one over and above all others. I may believe that my kids are cuter than your kids, and you probably disagree because you believe your kids are cuter than mine. Love does this to and for us. It’s not fair, but it’s good.

God is love. But is God, fair? 

He is perfect. He is right. He is good. He is just. 

But, God is NOT fair! Okay, now I've lost about two-thirds of you, who are likely thinking, 'Wait! Is she honestly saying that God. Is. Not. Fair?? 

Yes, I am saying that... bear with me a moment.... think about it this way: If we could be perfect as Jesus Christ is, we would be able to stand in God's sight. It is our sin that separates us from God, not who we are, who our parents are, where we work or how much money we make, the size of our house, yada yada yada. 

Because we live in a fallen world, where prior to the fall, God looked on all that He had made and He said, "Behold, it is very good!" 

Enter, our humanness through Adam and Eve. They get an up close glimpse of a very appealing shiny piece of fruit and made the choice to do life on their terms and follow a worthless pursuit of trying to be as "God is" based on a lie from a snake! Yuck!! Who listens to a snake?? (Hmmm, I am pretty sure, I would have elected to chase the stupid shiny object as well?... I mean 'pleasing to the eye' does sound pretty fabulous, right??)

So, God says, "Great, now look what you've done. What am I going to do with You??" (Okay, this is The Sheri Paraphrase... LOL). So, he decides on a plan for our redemption and spends 2000 years perfecting it. Boy, we do have our issues.... just saying.

So God is not fair, because if He were, Jesus would never have come to earth, gone through all that He faced, cried out in a Garden that God might free Him from the step He knew He was going to need to take. He would not have had to face betrayal by someone who had walked with Him as a Friend. He would not have spent hours in torture and interrogation, only to be mocked, spit upon, ridiculed, and persecuted beyond recognition. And then, for six hours one Friday, hang on a cross made from a tree He created. He did it all for me... yep, for my sins. 

While He was on the cross, He was thinking of me. He was thinking of you, too!

He did it...Just for me... and for You too:

For me to be free to have a rotten attitude when things don't go my way; 
For me to be free to call His name out loud when life hurts; 
For me to shake my fist at Him for all I've been through and how unfair it all is;

And, for three days from now on Easter Sunday, for me to walk beside you and proclaim: 
"Hallelujah, He is Risen!!" So you could reply in turn, "He is Risen, Indeed!!" 

Oh, what a Savior.... Thank You, Jesus!!

Okay, back to my story... 

But God is just. His judgments are right and good and true. 

A God whose primary description is “fair” would be devoid of grace or mercy or compassion. Instead, the guilty would immediately receive the punishment for their sin. This equates to what is commonly known as 'karma', where you receive what you’ve earned. Every action is weighed on a scale, and you work your hardest to have the good outweigh the bad.

Those who desire a fair God also have a very low view of sin’s seriousness. Sure, God may not like sin, but surely I won't be condemned by my sin unless it’s really serious, right?

But that’s just not what the Bible teaches about sin. Read the Sermon on the Mount and see how serious Jesus treats sin.

Even if God was fair and He would actually weigh the scales, and even if your scales had more good than bad… what would a fair God do with sin? We would certainly, at least I would be, found wanting!

A good judge makes right judgments. He does not condemn the innocent. Nor does he free the guilty.

God is just (because He does not overlook sin), but He is not fair. 

It simply is not fair that Jesus Christ suffered on Calvary's Cross in my place and for my sin!

It is not fair that He endured the rejection and wrath that should have been mine. 

It is not fair that I received the Grace of God, while He received the most bitterest of cups, for me. In my place. 

God is not fair, He transferred the guilt of all humanity on the innocent shoulders of Jesus. But He is just, because the punishment was given out and paid for. 

If God was fair, we would all receive what we’ve earned… death.

“The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2‬:‭16‬-‭17‬

“Indeed, there is not a righteous person on earth who always does good and does not ever sin.” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7‬:‭20‬ 

“They have all turned aside; together they are corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:3

“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23

“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” James 2:10

I just have to say here.... If God sees all of this about us and He still makes a way of redemption for us... who are we to look on another and, blame, judge or condemn them? They will KNOW we are His (Followers of Jesus aka Christians) by our LOVE! 

Okay, I'm getting back to my story.... Imagine a fair God, who gave to everyone what they deserved. We’d all receive the judgment we deserve! We’d all be condemned to hell.

Thanks be to God for His love and grace and mercy, which turned His justice against Himself, Jesus Christ being fully God and fully man, so that sinners could be reconciled with God. 

Hallelujah, what a gift!!!!! Receive it...even though you or I can't earn it... We can receive it!! 

“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” 
Luke 23:34

“… God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their wrongdoings against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 

The message of the gospel is this: We are saved by faith alone in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We plead for God’s grace, not for fairness. 

Salvation comes through the work of Christ. It is a gift, not a paycheck. It is unfair, because it’s pure grace.

Let us give praise and thanks to God that He is not fair!

Sheri Geyer is a Boundaries Coach for Women

Are YOU Ready to create Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships.... even when it's hard? If so, we need to talk!

I'd like to invite you to Sign Up for My Free Weekly Mastermind Group beginning June 18, 2024 on Tuesdays at 12 noon EDT, https://joyfilledrelationships.com/page/mastermind

Would you like to learn more about establishing healthy boundaries so that you can cultivate relationships that bring more joy?  Join me on a 5-day Journey to do a deeper dive into discovering how you can find and maintain more joy-filled relationships... Sign up for Free here: https://joyfilledrelationships.com/landing/five-days




Are You Missing Out on Being Present Today Because You're Worried About Tomorrow?

By virtue of not knowing, I am actually happier, period. When I meet with family, friends or clients, they can feel my happiness. I am cool with how things are going and since this is a positive attribute it is actually one that is very attractive to others. We love rubbing elbows with people who are calm and settled about life in general. I am able to show up and being fully present.
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