The sun is big. It’s 109 times the diameter of the earth. Yet, if you hold a quarter close enough to one opened eye you can block out the sun. At that moment the quarter is all you see.
God is big. He’s the creator of all that exists yet can’t be contained by it. Even so, if you care about people in all the wrong ways, if you fear their opinions or if you convince yourself that you need something from them in order to be “happy” – it’s a lot like that quarter. God’s glory is eclipsed and all we can see is people.
When people are big and God is small life itself becomes a death loop of people pleasing behaviors. As Psalm 29:25 says:
Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Here are ten signs you might be functionally allowing people to eclipse God in your life:
- You are over-committed. You find it hard to say no even when wisdom indicates that you should. After all, you wouldn’t want anyone to be disappointed with you.
- You need something from your spouse in order to be happy. You ‘need’ your spouse to listen to you or to respect you in order to feel fulfilled.
- Self-esteem is a critical concern for you. If self-esteem is a recurring theme in your thought life, chances are that your life revolves around what others think. You reverence or fear their opinions. You need them to buttress your sense of well-being and identity.
- You have a nagging sense that you might be exposed as an impostor. It means the opinions of other people control you — especially if the might be of the opinion that you are failure.
- You frequently second-guess decisions because of what other people might think? You’re afraid of making mistakes that will make you look bad in other people’s eyes.
- You’re easily embarrassed. If so, people and their perceived opinions probably define you. Or, to use biblical language, you exalt the opinions of others to the point where you are ruled by them.
- You commonly catch yourself in little white lies. Lying is usually a tactic we use to make ourselves look better to other people. It also serves to cover our shame before them.
- People are often a source of anger or depression. If so, they are probably the controlling center of your life. You aren’t relying on all that Christ has done for you to make you whole.
- You avoid people. Are you distancing yourself from other people? Ironically this is a sign of how much they control you.