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My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  John 10:27 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.We were on high alert! 

As my wife and I braced for a visit from our new in-laws, we noticed things around the house that didn’t bother us before. The dinner plates seemed old and dull, the windows didn’t shine brightly enough, and the hardwood floors squeaked at too many places.

We felt certain the small imperfections around the house would be detected by our guests of honor. The saying, “Good appearance makes for a good impression,” bellowed in my head. I was frazzled—especially from the closet-cramming and furniture-shuffling going on.

Even our cherished rose garden we lovingly tilled and pruned the week before became a source of worry. As I sat and gazed at a blossom of white, yellow, and red roses—wondering how I was going to get everything done—it hit me how my life seemed to hinge on the opinions of others.  

The need to hear the voice of approval from colleagues, friends, and even family members consumed my thoughts, which did not leave much room to hear from God. I permitted the words of ordinary people to drown out God’s Word. This troubled me more than I cared to admit.

God does not want us imprisoned by the opinions and criticism of those around us—while forgetting who we are as His children. He wants us to live as the person He brought us into the world to be … where we seek His approval and thoughts more often than not.

God’s opinion should matter most. He is our Shepherd who loves us. In our lives, other people’s views may seem a reliable measuring stick for assessing our successes and failures, but at the end of the day, only God’s opinion is trustworthy. Only in Him are we set free from the grip people may have on us. 

Free yourself from the opinions of others by only seeking the voice of your Shepherd.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)


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Doug Lim

Doug Lim lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife Cindy. He is in the empty-nester chapter of his life. He is a spare-time Christian freelance writer and also enjoys writing anonymously for a self-help service group. He teaches religious education, volunteers as a chaplain, and serves in various other ministries.