Christian Counseling: Transcending What People Think Of You

A commonality of effective leadership, personal freedom and strength is the ability to rise above fearing what people think of you; to rightfully care less about offending others' sensitivities in favor of speaking out, and that, the truth. 

We all want to be liked and need to be accepted and approved. We all want to avoid being rejected, spoken ill of and humiliated. To achieve these ends, many protect themselves by censuring how and what they say. It's an icy, slippery slope from rightfully editing raw feelings and words and seasoning them with grace to wrongfully allowing the fear of others' thoughts, words and actions to overpower our need for self-expression and our duty to boldly speak the truth, especially when it come to matters of our Christian faith. This is why Jesus was hated. This is why people plotted to kill Him. This is why He said, "'you will be hated by all because of My name'" and continued on to say, "'By your endurance you will gain your lives'" (Luke 21:17,19). Picking up the cross of Jesus is no easy task for those who succumb to fear. It is not simple for those fearing people to learn to rightfully fear God more. But doing so means gaining one's life. Life in terms of quality (joy, peace, etc.) and perhaps that which is eternal.

Gross self-censure carries with it a powerful sense of guilt and shame for not having been assertive and overly concerned with self-protection. This was Peter's experience having denied the Lord. One thing that can help a person to be more expressive about their beliefs and values is having fine examples to model. Dan Cathy is one such person. He is the president and COO of Chick-fil-A. 

Center focused in today's news is Cathy's bold statement about supporting traditional marriage, which the Left construed to mean he doesn't like gays. He didn't succumb to avoiding asserting his Christian values in order to spare himself or the company any bad publicity. That takes conviction and courage. That takes solid leadership. This led a second model to not only again voice his support of traditional marriage, but to take action in support of Dan Cathy and the company. 

Gov. Mike Huckabee wasn't going to sit idly by without indirectly confronting the political Left's or social liberal's provocative, anti-Christian slander, which simply put is, if you do not accept the gay lifestyle as a valid alternative and same-sex marriage then you are bigots and haters of these people. He ingeniously called for a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day to support the man, the company, traditional marriage and the constitutional right to free speech. Sincerely, I thank God for such men.

Paul said to those under his leadership, "be imitators of me" (1 Corinthians 4;16)." He also said, "be imitators of God" (Ephesians 5:1). We would do well to find those whom we could imitate and do so. Perhaps in the end we then become models for others to follow, such as: our children, spouses, churches, neighbors and coworkers, much to the smiles of God and self-contentment. 

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