What Really Matters
It is so easy to get caught up in externals, but that isn't what we need to focus on. It's more important to concentrate on what God commands us to do, than it is to worry about outward appearances. Some people might think that it is burdensome to keep God's commandments, but it is actually quite freeing to get to the place where you focus on pleasing God rather than worrying about the opinions of man.I remember a time in life when a particular couple had very strong opinions about the ministry the Lord had called my husband and me to. They didn't approve of our methods, and of other things such as where we lived. The underlying sense of criticism and disapproval was devastating. I walked through a time of hurt and bitterness because of it. But there was great freedom when God brought me around to the place of simply walking in obedience to Him, in spite of the opinions of others.
Pleasing God Not Man
Obviously, there are times when the opinions of others are spot on with the plan of God for our lives, so we should be open to counsel from godly men and women. But in the midst of that, we need to always remember that it is most important to do what God wants, which may not necessarily be what people expect of us. We all like to look good and have the approval of others, but looking good isn't nearly as important as walking in simple obedience to the Lord.
God, please help me to focus on You and have my actions please you and not man. Free me from the chains of wanting to please everyone and be with me when i need you. amen