We live in a world where there is no shortage on opinions. We vote articles up or down on Reddit; we like things and leave comments on Facebook; we can mute someone on Twitter; we post reviews on Yelp. Our culture wants to critique, review and rate everything. Everyone is a critic. And it’s all too easy to become a victim of the critics—those around us who have an opinion about everything we do. Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Living to please others leads to frustration and dissatisfaction. Peace comes from living in accordance with God’s will for our lives!

Scriptures
Ecc 7:21-22; Jn 12:43; Zep 3:17; Lk 23:23; Is 6:8; Pr 29:1; Pr 27:6; Eph 2:10

Verses
Don’t listen to everything people say. You might hear your own servant saying bad things about you. And you know that many times you too have said bad things about other people. (Ecc 7:21-22)

Thought
First, remember that peace comes from living for the approval of only One—God. He’s the audience we should strive to please in all that we say and do. Next, we must stay focused on what God has called us to do. The criticism of others should not detour us from following God’s plan. And although we should not allow the clamor of opinion to alter our course, we do need filters through which correction can come into our lives. We need friends who love God and love us and want the best for us; they will tell us the truth in love when it’s needed and encourage us along the way.

Questions
Do you allow the opinions and criticism of others to upset you and cause you to doubt yourself? Whose opinion do you value? Are you willing to receive constructive criticism from Godly friends?
How do you filter the critique that is worthy of consideration from that which has no value?

Response
Be aware each day that only God’s approval matters. Read your Bible. It is a guide and light for life.

Prayer
Lord, your ways are perfect and your plan for me is good. Make me aware of your constant care and direction in my life. Help me to seek only your approval. Give me peace, I pray. In Jesus Name.