LET. IT. GO. Blog Hop with Melissa Taylor

My friend and Proverbs 31 ministry partner Melissa Taylor just started an online Bible study of my new book LET. IT. GO. (You can still join us. Click here for details)

Today, she is hosting a blog hop with gals from around the country (and world) blogging about an aspect of the book. (If you are a blogger, you can see details hereΒ and join us!)

Be sure to hop over and check out the blog posts. They will encourage you in the area of letting go of the need to control and learning to trust God instead.

Some are talking about the tangents that knock us off course in our day. Others are blogging about the verse of the week. Others are confessing the areas of life (or people in life!) they like to try to control.

I’m gonna talk about the tangents.

I have one that trips me up often. It has been causing me to lose joy, time, sleep and mental energy since probably about the 3rd grade.

Ready? Wait for it…..

I am addicted to the approval of others.

There. I said it.

Since I was a little girl (and especially in middle and high school) I have cared waaaaaay too much about what others think of me. I can remember getting a painful pit in my stomach when a bunch of girls in the eighth grade, whom I’d hung out with for two years, decided they didn’t like me anymore. Didn’t want to sit with me at lunch anymore. Or invite me to their sleep overs or mall shopping trips. It was devastating to me to be left out and then overhear them in the hallway talking about what they’d done together. (Can’t imagine how that would feel today to see their fun splashed all over Facebook and such!)

As an adult, I’ve also wanted others to like me. It seems funny when I think about it. No one is liked by everyone in their life. But somehow, it always bothers me when someone has a negative opinion of me.

Then, I dwell on it. Let it rob me of joy. And time. And mental energy spent wondering why they don’t like me or trying to “fix” their opinion of me.

I can do fairly well when they don’t like me because of my faith in Christ. (Been slammed online for agreeing with the Bible on some black-and-white areas of scripture that current culture doesn’t like.)

The worst is when I find out that someone has a bad opinion of me that is based on something not true. Oh that hurts. And that is when I spin the wheels of my mind wanting to correct their incorrect image of me.

It happened just this week. A woman wrote a rather accusatory email slamming me for what she thought was a dishonest and shameful thing I’d done. She saw something I’d written here. She also saw something very similar on the site of a well-known Christian writer. She scolded me for stealing their material and running it on my site.

What she failed to check out was the signature line on the other site. I was a guest blogger for famous sister-so-and-so. The piece she’d seen was written by me. I hadn’t stolen anything. SInce it was a lesson God has been whomping me upside the head with a lot lately, I decided to write about it twice. (And I’m glad I did. It got one of the biggest responses I’ve ever gotten on both sites with women asking. “Have you been spying on me? I struggle with this too!”)

What hurt even more was that the email she sent made it to some ministry partners of mine. Now thankfully they clicked over to the post she’d seen and was so upset about and quickly saw at the bottom that it was written by me. Still, I let this whole affair bother me and my mind kept dwelling on it. It was a tangent that knocked me off course for a while.

At times like this, I have to tell myself God’s truth to block out the lies. My friend Renee calls this “bossing my heart around.”

The truth was that I hadn’t stolen anything. The truth was that this gal was remiss in checking out who’d written the blog post. The truth is, she’d harshly accused instead of gently inquiring. (Inquiring would have been to ask, “Hey, can you help me understand something? These two posts seems so similar but it looks like you only wrote one. Can you explain this to me?)

Inquiring doesn’t cause offense. It clears the air.

Thankfully God gave me grace to respond gently. It was really a mistake. She hadn’t seen that I was the guest post that day. In her mind what appeared to be true really was wrong. So I gently thanked her for her concern but explained that I wrote both posts. Then….. I LET IT GO!!!!

Are you someone who too struggles with what others think of you? Or with being left out? Especially in this era of Social media when you see others doing things together and realize you weren’t invited? Tell us about it today.

And don’t forget to hop over to Melissa’s blog hop and check out the other great posts.

NOTE: Winners! The winner of the contentment giveaway is Amanda S.: comment left 2/4 at 5:46 pm and the winner of No More Perfect Moms is Meg: comment left 2/5 at 9:51 pm. Please email your home address along with what you won to kim@proverbs31.org

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  • This is so me. I have and still struggle with being accepted by people. My parents were Pastors of a church where they were move by the church to new places every 3 years. I was 12 when they became Pastors and found the moving very hard. I never made friends easy because of always being the new kid. As the years moved on I married and have lived in my community for almost 46 years now, no more moving for me. But no matter how long I have lived here I still look for acceptance at times. I have found when I take off the mask , be the real me then it is easier. Many people don’t see the shyness as I am really an extrovert but can be very quiet too . I am looking forward to continuing on in this OBS to see where God shows me I need to give up the control and trust Him with everything. I need only God’s approval and do not need to be a people pleaser. May God continue to bless and use you.

  • I’ve been trying to win approval all my life. Never feeling worthy or loved or understood. When someone hurts me, especially someone I care about, I have a tendency to dwell and dwell and dwell. Running it over and over in my mind, wondering what is wrong with me. Wondering why God made me if I’m so terribly flawed and worthless.
    What does it matter so much what someone thinks of me? Why don’t I just ask God what He thinks and let it go at that.

  • I have struggled with trying to be accepted by everyone and worrying what they thought about me. One thing I read in a book, I forget which one, was talking about what a waste it is to worry about that because you never truly know what a person is thinking. You could think they don’t like you and they do or vice versa. And if you want to change their opinion of you, you never know if you did or not. It really put in to perspective what a waste of time that is, especially considering we have a God who already adores us and thinks we are beautiful and special to Him no matter what embarassing or sinful thing we do!

  • Karen,
    I can so relate to this. I have always been this way and it can really tear you apart when you don’t think someone approves of you. I am a pastors wife and I have had to learn to “not wear my feelings on my sleeves” as my husband puts it. I know God has really been working on me in this area of my life and it is getting better but it is still hard sometimes. I am learning to Let It Go with Gods help. I love that all you ladies are willing to share how you deal with it. May God continue to bless you.

  • Is it because we are social creatures that approval of others is important? I’m praying that eventually I’ll be matured enough by this relationship with our Lord, that disapproval won’t be much of an issue. Not there yet. Headed that direction though. People that don’t like me for my beliefs and stands on some important issues, don’t bother me as much as friendly fire. I don’t think we ever really expect it from our brothers and sister in Christ, but I guess we should. After all we are all imperfect, and misunderstandings will happen, and even among the saints, we may not like especially like everyone we encounter.

  • I, too, have let this devastate me so many times when I was younger. And, the truth is, God showed me yesterday that I am still sensitive to this – that time of the month is quickly approaching, and I went off on one of my co-workers who quite honestly did not do what I asked him to do (pressing forward on a meeting invite to the right people is not unreasonable), and at the crux of it, I think it was at least to some extent because I was concerned he was making me look bad in front of his supervisors, whom I support in a specific technical area, which might get in the way later. And, the worst of it yesterday was my response to my husband’s response to a request – I asked him to make what I thought was a small change to his schedule so I could go to bed a bit earlier, and he did his angry huff and puff, jerking things down and stalking away. As I had just done him the favor of taking the kids so he could exercise and have tried to bend over backwards to help him out with his nutritional goals (and that time of the month, remember), I went off. Not productive or helpful, but in processing, I could tell I was hurt that he could ask, but I couldn’t. It really goes back to the working for The Lord, not for men, and taking refuge in God rather than humans. Time and again it amazes me the capacity to hurt that I can feel with my husband that isn’t deeper with anyone else, and yet I guess that’s just reality when I love him so much and therefore am just that vulnerable to him. The worst of these times is it takes me time to open up again because I am so scared to be hurt again, even though I know that closing off isn’t healthy – I’ve done it too many times. Abba, please change me and guide me to do what ever it takes to be able to be vulnerable again to my husband – to trust in his love and care for me, which doesn’t go away even in the moments that hurt so much. Please help me to remember all of the good and beautiful times, even in the past week, where we’ve encouraged and supported each other. And please help me to realize that I am loved by him just as much if not more, and he probably feels just as vulnerable to me, even if he doesn’t process and react the same way. It’s the same, isn’t it? The same way I do with You when things hurt? I have to remember that Your love doesn’t go away no matter the circumstances I’m in, and you, unlike my beloved human husband, are never too tired, too irritable, to what ever to deal with me. What would I do without You?

    Karen, apologies for the volume, and thanks so much for the opportunity to process with my Abba on your blog. Please pray for me if you can when you can, as I think today could use all the prayer it could get.

    Much love,
    Jennifer