The fear of human opinion ...
The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that. -Proverbs 29:25 MSG
Since 1977 I have had a mug with this verse written on it. I remember drinking coffee from it at work and still fearing the opinions of others. Being a people pleaser really does disable us and causes us to do strange things. I wonder what it is that causes us to fear what people think? Perhaps there is something broken inside of us that causes us to be insecure? Or maybe our childhood was filled with events that conditioned us to seek the approval of others.
I think that the real issue with seeking to please others is that you lose yourself in the process - 'their' opinion becomes yours; you do what 'they' do; you rely on what others think rather than what you think. Solomon tells us in this verse that we can trust in the opinion of God rather than those of people. The way that has worked for me was beginning to trust the voice of God in my heart more than fleshly voices in my head - fear is of the head but freedom is of the heart.
Dear Lord, set us free today from the fear of human opinion. Cause us to trust your inner voice.