I have a client who is also a friend. We have been working together just over a year now and we have been through so much. When I met him, he was homeless and hopeless. He had spent the last five years on the streets living under a local church’s carport. He went to the local shelter to wash his clothes, take a shower and eat breakfast and lunch. Before that, he spent fifteen years in jail because his niece got mad at him, concocted a lie and turned him in for touching her. He spent 20 years in Hell because of a lie. I could say that we all spend time in Hell because of the lie that we can’t be loved by God but that’s for another post.
Fast forward to today and after a year’s worth of working with him, he finally has insurance, disability and works 20 hours a week at a local business. He hurts a lot because he has a lot of physical pan. He is emotionally scarred. He has trouble trusting anyone and has trouble sleeping in part because of PTSD. He is depressed most days because he’s a shell of who he used to be and he can’t come to grips that he’s not who he used to be. He sheds a lot of tears because even though he is making strides to live a better life, he’s still pretty jacked up.
What compounds these efforts of succeeding in life is having folks tell him that he will never be good enough. He tells me that he has folks telling him to get a real job. Not only does he beat himself up, he has others giving him the club or using the club themselves to knock him down. Looking up is hard to do because he feels every time he does, he gets crap thrown in his eyes from those higher on the success ladder.
I talked with him yesterday. He was feeling down but he assured me that no matter the depths he falls into he knows Jesus still loves and cares for him. This was so good to hear that he hasn’t given up on at least the one person who will never give up on him.
I told him to hang in there and keep one thing in mind. God’s opinion of him is the only opinion he should be concerned with. I told him I live by a motto: I would care more if I valued your opinion more. I told him not to value the opinions of those who don’t know him. God knows him and calls him by name. He knows every hair (what little there is now) on his head. God knows so much about him but these others who tear him down have no clue what he’s been through.
We shouldn’t value the opinion of those who don’t know what we are going though or what we have been through. We could easily let their voices ruin us, tear us down, rip us apart and render us useless in life. If we want to succeed in life, we need to listen to those who are in our life, know our hearts and have been given authority to speak.
I had a friend once that would tell me when I said something he disagreed with that he didn’t accept that and if he did agree, he accepted that word into his life. Why? Because words are powerful. We have the choice to let them build us up or tear us down. It just depends on how much weight we give to them.
So for those who have not been given authority to speak in your life, do not give value to their opinion. You will have less stress in your life. Give weight to opinions of those who matter to you and your life. I would advise to first, give weight to God’s words then those you love most. But if you continue giving weight to those who are only out to tear you down, you will never succeed.
Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purpose for your life! -Rick Warren