For years I carried around in my wallet a little card folded up with a quote from George Muller (1805-1998), the man of faith who prayed in funds for his orphanage in England. The quote I had with me at all times until it shriveled to pieces was this—
There was a day when I died, utterly died—died to George Muller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will; died to the world, its approval or censure, died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends; since then, I have only to show myself approved unto God.
I wrote that down, not because I felt I was living like that, but because I knew I needed to. For everyone there is some friend, some sphere of influence, some colleague, some journal, peer, big shot in your profession, or someone that you so respect or fear, that you cannot bear the thought of disappointing them.
That fear must die. For if the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, then the fear of man is the beginning of misery, compromise, and disappointment. You will not last as a Christian and you will not be truly happy unless you fight to be dead to the approval of the world and live to show yourself only approved unto God.
– Kevin DeYoung