This was a repeating theme in my bible meditation for quite a while and a real challenge while I've been in school this term; who do I have ears for?
Who do we listen to for our guidance, our acceptance, support and praise. There are 2 voices that we can listen to. On one hand, you have the voice of God (which, it's good to be reminded, brought creation into existence & breathed life into the dry & empty shell that was man) and on the other hand, the voice of normal people like you and me; our friends, colleagues, siblings and brothers and sisters in Christ.
Why does the opinion of other people seem to be so strongly prevelant in our thinking & our attitude in what we say and do?
The world says 'you must win at any cost', God reminds us that he'll prosper our ways if we walk with him.
The world says 'you are lost, you must find fulfillment however you can', God says 'Seek [me] and you shall find [me]', and challenged us to be concerned with his glory, to walk with the Good shepherd.
The world says 'you must be strong if you are to succeed', God tells us to acknowledge our full weakness & walk in his full strength.
Simply, it is the fear of man that tries to grab our hearts so regularly & will end up creating a dependence on other peoples' opinions of us, if we do not learn to be completely satisfied & content in our Lord & saviour, Jesus Christ; in his grace, his love, and our status in his eyes as sons. In short, we must choose to listen to God, and who he says we are; his adopted children, saved by his grace, saved for his purpose, and promised to join him on that glorious day when he returns.
The more I prayerfully think about it, the more I realise that this issue is paramount to our development as children of God, as men and women with hearts after his name. Think about these quick questions: Do you look for acceptance from your friends and colleagues? Do you want to be liked by them? Do you accept their council & readily agree with them, because doing otherwise would make you stand out?
If we are to rightesouly fear God fully in our lives, then we need to remind ourselves each day of his grace. We need to bring our weak bodies to the foot of the rugged cross & be reminded what He gave up for us there, and what he accomplished through Jesus' death. We need to be reminded that God alone is sovereign in our lives, and that his word to us is life. Anything that draws us away from serving him in his will for us is a lie. We must have ears for the truth.
Futher reading on the fear of man & the fear of God: 'When people are big & God is small' & Edward T. Welch
weird is just your own personal brand of normal