Are you worried what others will think if they find out your past isn’t blemish free? Do you go to great lengths to keep it a secret?
The fear of judgment can make us do crazy things.
Its intimidating power can force us to make irrational decisions, causing us to take drastic measures to hide our past.
I didn’t want anyone to know what I had done.
This may sound strange to you, but there was a time when I was afraid to tell people my age. My age would reveal I had been a teenage mother. Keeping my age a secret made me feel secure. I was ashamed and fearful of what others would think once they knew the truth. As long as they didn’t learn my age and discover my past, they couldn’t judge me.
It isn’t good to be alone.
Driven by my fear of judgment I kept everyone at a distance. I thought I was protecting myself by trying to control the situation, but in reality, my fear was controlling me. My desperate attempt to shield myself from the pain judgment so often brings, left me isolated and lonely.
God didn’t create us to be alone (see Gen. 2:28). He may allow seasons of loneliness in our lives for various reasons, but he never meant for us to purposefully live that way (Read more about it here). God wants us to live in community with each other. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” We are better and stronger together.
Be a risk taker.
The scriptures tell us to not fear because God is with us; he will help us, strengthen us, and never let us fall (Isaiah 41:10). I still struggle, but with God, by my side, I have learned to battle my fear and let people in. And I’m so glad I did because God has brought some special people into my life. If I hadn’t taken a chance and let them get to know me, I would still be sitting there with my shield up–alone.
We have to be willing to take a risk and let people in. Otherwise, we will miss out on all of the blessings that come from friendships and other relationships.
Will it be scary? Yes.
Will it be hard? Yes.
Will it be worth it? Absolutely!
What if someone judges you?
We live in a fallen world full of imperfect people. The truth is that we’ll always have someone judging us, including our brothers and sisters in Christ. If someone does judge us because of our past, we need to remember that we aren’t defined by our past—Christ has made us new and set us free.
When we do feel judged let’s turn the other cheek and pray for God to soften their hearts. Perhaps God will use your story to help this person grow.
Join the conversation: Do you find it hard to let others in? What’s holding you back?
I was inspired to write this post by a book I recently read. It reminded me of the lengths we will go to cover our up pasts. Read my book review.