However there is a time when "performing for an audience of one" is a good thing. When that one person audience is God it is not only a good thing it is the best thing.
Living for an Audience of One
Luke 16:13 NIV “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (emphasis mine)
When you’re always worried about what other people think of you, you can’t be what God wants you to be. But, when you learn to think like Jesus, you won’t worry about pleasing everyone. Jesus had the right focus. He was only concerned with pleasing God.
What Does the Bible Say About Comparing Yourself to Others?
Comparison is so rooted into our culture that few of us even notice it anymore. Instead, we fall for it hook line and sinker. Do you know what the Bible has to say about comparing yourself to others?
2 Corinthians 10:12 NLT Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant! (emphasis mine)
Proverbs 14:30 NIV A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
One of Ten Commandments prohibits comparison.
Exodus 20:17 NLT “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”
Most of the time comparison happens before we realize it. Before you know it, we’ve measured someone else by our own standards, or concluded, after observation and the collection of a few facts, that we're either inferior or superior to them.
While we may not set out to exalt ourselves when we compare ourselves to others, we certainly don’t do it to make ourselves feel inadequate or inferior. We most often compare ourselves to others out of our insecurity. We want to make ourselves feel better. We also compare because of our competitive or perfectionist nature. We want to be right, perfect, or just better than the other person.
Jesus was never manipulated by crowds or by the approval or the disapproval of anybody else. He lived for an audience of one:
John 5:30 GNT “I can do nothing on my own authority; I judge only as God tells me, so my judgment is right, because I am not trying to do what I want, but only what he who sent me wants.
When you have the mind of Christ, that's what you do.
Wouldn't it simplify your life to live for an audience of one? If God likes what you’re doing, then you know you’re doing the right thing.
The truth is, you can't please everybody. Even God can't please everybody! When someone prays for it to be sunny, somebody else is praying for it to rain. Somebody is praying for their team to do well, and someone else wants the opposing team to win. You can't please everybody.
You have to decide whose approval you’re going to seek—God's approval or other people’s approval.
Are you going to live for what other people think or what God thinks?
When you're always looking for validation from other people, it means you don't really realize who you are. God intentionally made everyone different. Every one of us is a person of unique and awesome design. We don’t have to measure up to others. Far from being a problem, we can learn to use our personalities constructively. Each one of us has a contribution to make that no one else can.
Jesus never let someone else’s approval or a fear of rejection control him. He wasn’t out to win a popularity contest. He didn't need other people’s opinions to validate himself.
When you have the mind of Christ, you will be so secure in your identity, your purpose, and God's presence in your life that you won't need to look to other people for approval.