“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” ~ Epictetus
I remember one of the Sisters who taught us in grade school. She would often admonish us about peer pressure. She would say, “Don’t be a silly goose. Don’t let others make decisions for you about the kind of person you’re supposed to be. You’re all silly geese anyway. Just be Jesus’ silly geese.” I used to get confused because she would tell us not to be silly geese and then turn around and tell us to be Jesus’ silly geese.
As I grew older and pondered more and more upon her adages, I realized that there is a qualitative difference between being the world’s silly goose and being Jesus’ silly goose. Doing things and being the kind of person that the world wanted me to do or be would, indeed, be foolish. Listening to the world and bowing to its whim would be ridiculous at best and hazardous at worst.
But being Jesus’ silly goose? Well, didn’t we hear more than once that we are fools for Christ? If we follow the teachings of the Lord, we will be viewed foolish by the world and, maybe, even by our friends. That’s all right. If we are doing something that we believe will help us to grow in holiness and help us grow closer to the Lord, let’s get it done. We do not have to worry about what the world thinks or says. We already know that the world is steeped in sin and is wrong in so many ways when it comes to heavenly matters. Why allow the world to sway us?
Peer pressure is something that never goes away. It changes throughout the years; however, we still have a desire to be accepted by those around us. When we develop spiritually, we might find ourselves on a different track in life than others. That should not frighten us or sadden us. We should realize that, if we do what the Lord asks of us, we can impact the lives of our peers in a positive, wonderful way.
God is calling each and every one of us. Sometimes, His invitation might appear unattainable. Sometimes, His invitation might seem downright silly. He’s God. He knows the best for us. Isn’t it time to place more trust in Him than in the world?
FAITH ACTION: Have you been delaying making a change in your spiritual life because you were afraid of being perceived as foolish? Do not worry about what others think. Make the change.