18Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1: 18 – 21 ESV
Do you ever wonder if Mary and Joseph were worried about what others would think about them having a baby out of wedlock? Although an angel assured Joseph that he should proceed as planned and marry Mary despite the social awkwardness of their situation, I am sure they both experienced moments of doubt and concern. Yet they followed through with God’s plan, and Mary gave birth to our Savior.
I can list hundreds of times when I have been nervous about what others thought about my actions. Whether it be choosing the dress I wore to senior prom, coloring my hair brown while in law school, or leaving the practice of law to teach, I have mulled over other people’s perspective on my decisions to the point of raising my blood pressure and making me doubt all of my decisions. Not only was this unhealthy, it made my life miserable.
Although it would be super if God sent an angel to confirm our decisions, since that isn’t likely, we can seek his assurance and guidance by reading the Bible and praying. These actions will help us to get to know God and what he desires for us. They will also allow us to embrace the fact that God loves us no matter what clothing we wear, what color our hair is, or what decisions we make in life. His love is a perfect distraction from worrying about what others may think about us.
Do you continually fret about what others think about you?