Ever wonder what people think about you? I do. I basically always have. I care less though the older I get, except for what my kids think of me. What they think is paramount. It's the truth.
I did not say I don't care what others think of me, I just care less than say five years ago and even less than I did five years before that. The older I get, I care most about what I think about me, and God of course. But those two go hand in hand. The more I think of what God thinks of me, I think more about what I think of me. God can't be fooled. No need to even try.
When I look at others and what I think of them, not that they care, I look no further than the things they can't say no to. That's it. What are those things that make them up that they can't say no to? I bet you want me to expand on this so I will.
I meet a lot people who come to me for advice. Mostly I am flattered but more so, I really want to be helpful not ever harmful. If I have known them for more than a year it is easy to give them advice. The hard part is rarely not knowing how to help, but rather knowing how to share what I know of them. This can be difficult, especially when they want a bandaid and I see an infected wound in need of urgent care. I wish I could simply say, "We are what we can't say no to", and leave it at that, leaving them to ponder what that could possibly mean for their life. But it is not that simple so inevitably conversations evolve into areas like these:
You are an alcoholic because you can't say no to alcohol. You are door mat because you can't say no to your family, children, man, woman, boss, friends, or self. You are alone because you can't say no to yesterday, demons, grudges, resentment, crutches, and the chains that bind you. You are sick because you can't say no to self-deprivation. You are broke because you can't say no to over spending and credit card debt. You are depressed because no has become your bedfellow. You are hurt and empty inside because you can't say no to porn and gambling. You feel isolated in your own family because you can't say no to that voice in your head that says, "Don't you dare take the first step. Let' them come to you." You don't feel loved because you can't say no to self-hurt. You are who you are because you can't say no to being stuck.
But no one has told you this because no one can yet. You are not ready to hear it. The really big thing is though, you are known far better than you are willing to know yourself. You are in self-denial but what God asks is for you to deny yourself.
Luke 9:23 ESV / And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.