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Think about something discouraging that has happened recently. Be confident and say, “I don’t care.” Can you say it like you really mean it?
What does this accomplish? Discouragement doesn’t come from God. You don’t have to make room for it in your life.
Of course, I’m not promoting an irresponsible attitude. There are good and bad ways to care.
Good Care Encourages Confident Living
Good care is focused on what is best for a person, even when that person is you. The care you provide, or the care your receive, is based on a genuine need.
When someone provides their input into your life, do you find it refreshing or oppressive? If you care what God says about you and you interpret it the right way, then you’ll feel encouraged. But, if you care indiscriminately and catch the opinion of someone who distorts the truth, you’ll feel hopeless.
Because God cares, He works to fulfill His desires. When you care like God, you can work to fulfill your desires too.
Bad Care Encourages Fearful Living
You can’t be fearful and confident at the same time. You can’t be loyal to the truth and to what is untrue at the same time. Bad care is focused on others’ opinions of you at the expense of truth. In this case, your motive for your behavior is too tightly bound to what others think you should do.
It’s like tolerating an uncomfortable hug. It’s an invasion of your personal space. You honestly don’t want that kind of hug. But it’s like you are lying when you accept the hug you don’t want. Then you’re left to feel icky about what you did, instead of making others aware of your preferences.
Try The Confident “I Don’t Care”
We are constantly evaluating everything that we experience. If you are used to caring too much about what others think, you might not even realize how you truly feel.
Try this: during the next 2-hours be hyper-aware of every decision you make. Pay attention to what motivates you to reach your conclusion. How much are you choosing because of an outside influence (what they want or tell you is best)? How much are you choosing because of internal prompting (what you want or believe is best)?
It’s okay to consider outside influences if you don’t let them run your life. God made you to be free. He made you unique. If you don’t express who He really made you to be, then the world is missing out on what God deems important.
This attitude might not make you a very popular person. That’s when “I don’t care” becomes such a life-saver. You can only attain true freedom when you live for an audience of one. It’s not that other people don’t matter. However, they must always come in second to God. That’s what makes staying focused on God challenging. It’s an underdeveloped muscle. But it is essential.
Jesus lived only to please God. Despite numerous distractions and painful outcomes, He stayed the course God set before him.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,Phillipians 2:5-8 NLT
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
To accomplish this Jesus had to “not care” about the opinions of the Jewish leaders. He had to “not care” about the opinion of Satan. He didn’t consider whether He was going to hurt the feelings of false teachers. Instead, He had to care about what God says. He was humble and confident at the same time.
During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”Matthew 4:3-4 NLT
Realize that what might seem like the right answer, might originate from the wrong outside influence (it might only be politically correct, not biblically correct). You must be merciless in your resolve to not care about what is wrong and determined to care about what matters to God. If necessary, hide what others care about so you can see what God cares about.
So then, in every situation, ask yourself, what does God require of me? What will please Him? What did He create me to achieve at this moment? If you can live this way, you might be surprised at how much you enjoy living.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.