What Do You Think of Me?

Today, I have a guest post with Ed Welch, author of the new book, “What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?”.


An interview with Ed Welch, author of

What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?


Peer pressure, codependency, shame, low self-esteem; these are just some of the words used to identify how people are controlled by others’ opinions. Why is it so important to be liked? Why is rejection so traumatic? Edward T. Welch’s insightful, biblical answers to these questions show that freedom from others’ opinions and genuine, loving relationships grow as we learn about ourselves, others, and God.  What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?: Answers to the Big Questions in Life includes questions for individual or group study and is suitable for teenagers and young adults.



Q: What are some questions we can ask ourselves to determine if we are being too controlled by the opinions of others?    


The list is a long one here. Am I angry? hopeless? self-protective? afraid? ashamed? depressed? withdrawing? Do I lie to make myself look better? Do I try to attach myself to the celebrity or popular person with the hope of enhancing my own reputation?


Q: Can you explain the term “peer pressure” and what it really means?  


I don’t hear this word as much as I once did. It usually means that we are willing to do things we wouldn’t normally do as a way to be accepted by others. There is a good kind of peer pressure, when a youth group really wants to know Jesus better, but that’s not the way it usually happens. We have a lot of the Old Testament biographies in us, and in those cases when a person who belonged to God met a person who loved his or her idols, the follower of God started following the idols and not vice versa. Of course, in the age of the Spirit that can be different.


Q: You say that so much of life comes down to three questions. Can you tell us what they are and how we can find the answers to them?


The questions are Who is God? Who am I? and Who are you?  The answers can be a little difficult to discover. Most of us know the correct theological answers to these questions, but there are the correct ones and then there are the ones we really believe. That why the topic of the opinions of other people is so handy. It can surprise us with our REAL answers to those questions.


So what are some of the real answers?


Who is God? Picky, distant, nice but irrelevant.


Who am I? Needy, I must find an identity in myself – who I am and what I do? The problem is that God isn’t very relevant and other people don’t solve the problem because I am a never ending hole that is looking to others so I can feel okay about myself.


Who are you? A threat, a god.


If we use these three basic questions, the question about God tends to be irrelevant, which is at the very heart of the problem. The normal answer is, he loves me [but so what?]. Why doesn’t his love make that much difference? It’s because other people have become our substitute god. The only way that God’s love becomes relevant is for “Why do I care?” to become a confession, as in “Lord, why do I care so much about me and my desires?” That takes an ordinary desire [for approval, love, acceptance, belonging . . . ] that has grown to extraordinary proportions so that it is a ruling or even idolatrous desire, and it brings that desire back to being an ordinary one in which other people’s poor opinions can hurt us, but not control us.


And who are other people? We want to love them just a little more than be loved by them.


Q: You write a lot in your book about worship. Tell us why this is such an important theme and how it applies to the issue of people pleasing.


Worship seems like a once-a-Sunday thing, but Scripture puts life in either/or terms: either we love God or something else, we trust in God or something else, we bow down to God or something else. Bowing down or worshipping is a vivid and accurate way to describe what is always taking place in our hearts. The word control gets at it. What controls us is our god. What controls us is what we adore and worship.


Q: How can recognizing everyone in our lives—acquaintances, loved ones, friends and enemies—as FAMILY change our perspectives and the way we live with and think about others?


We can have wretched families that are more like enemies than families, but most of us are familiar with relationships in which we love people freely. We don’t have to put on airs, we are always wondering what they are thinking about us. Instead, we simply love and enjoy them. When we are interested, we are more interested in them than we are in what they think of us. That recognizable experience moves us toward a way out from this particular human struggle. At the end of the day, love God and love your neighbor is where we will find lots of answers.


About the Author: Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He has counseled for over twenty-five years and is the best-selling author of many books, including When People Are Big and God Is SmallAddictions: A Banquet in the Grave;Blame It on the Brain?Depression: A Stubborn Darkness; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction;Running Scared: Fear, Worry and the God of Rest; and When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety. He and his wife Sheri have two daughters, two sons-in-law and four grandchildren.


What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?: Answers to the Big Questions of Life by Edward T. Welch by New Growth Press

Today, I’m giving away a copy of Mr. Welch’s book. Just leave a comment below to be entered to win. Here’s the question: do you think that when we care so much what others think that our children pick up on this and copy this themselves? If you’re too busy to comment, just say, “I’m in!” I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday!



  1. bj farnsworth says:

    I believe our children learn so many things from us. Sadly they learn
    How to treat others by the way the see us behave and speak
    We must battle daily to make correct choices so that our precious ones
    Can see God working in our lives

    1. With His help, we can do it!

  2. Our children are like little sponges. I think they pick up on much more than we think. We have to be careful that we aren’t doing the very things that we tell them not to do. I love that God can help us, when we let Him!! This book looks awesome and so applicable!

  3. Janet Williams says:

    I’m in! Thank you for the interview with Dr. Welch. I could really use his book right now withy 19 yr old daughter. He speaks straight forward biblical truth.

  4. My daughter is a mini-me. She absorbs the behavior that I model for her.

  5. I really don’t know. I have 3 kids and two of them care very much about how others view them and the other does not. Their father lives his life based on what others will think of him. Me on the other hand live my life based on what I think is right. I don’t know if two picked up their fathers virtue and one picked up mine or if they just found their own way on their own.

  6. Donna Price says:

    Our children, regardless of age, pick up that desire to be liked from us and others in their circle of influence. As my 17 year-old prepares to start college in the fall, we could really use Dr. Welch’s book to start her off on the right path.

  7. On July 13, 2011 my 1st child was born. I was so humbled to realize that the Lord was giving me a child to train up. The truth that I have seen is that the training happens without us ever telling the child to start watching & learning.

  8. april alford says:

    Would like to read more. Good stuff!

  9. Children most definitely follow what we do! We can tell them anything we want, but if we don’t live it out before them they will not follow what has been told to them. They will follow the example that we have set.

  10. Oh please! I’m in!
    Absolutely our children pick it up.

  11. I’m In! Somehow I got on another page and posted the comment, but it wasn’t meant to be here 🙂

  12. Really think that this link was for me.. my 12 year old daughter has been in some peer pressure drama and then losing her own identity to please them. I know this book will help us BOTH as I think she sees me trying to please everyone all the time. Thank you and hope we win!

  13. unfortunately, i think that yes, if our children see these self esteem issues in us, it is a STRONG possibility that they will copy them or overcompensate in a totally different direction – neither of which is healthy!

  14. I just saw this very issue today between my daughter’s best friend and her mother, who is a dear friend of mine. Looking for the right prom dress escalated into a battle of wills over finding the right dress. this wasn’t an issue about a revealing dress because the daughter was tasteful in her choice. Wanting her mother’s approval and not getting it no matter what she chose led to tears and unnecessary tension. It saddens me to see one person constantly critical of a loved one (both ways) to the point it affects a parent-child relationship in a negative way. If I am chosen for this book, I am committed to passing it on. Please pray for this situation. This daughter is very much controlled by her mother’s opinions, who has rational views, but her negative remarks overshadow the positives and the daughter’s responses in reaction are causing great stress on this relationship. Its hard on me and my daughter to witness this tension, also, because we care for both of them. Thanks so much for this needed post today!

  15. I’m in! Thank you so much for your ministry, Lynn.

  16. Kathy sester says:

    I’m in! This is so good, and I tink more is caught than taught.

  17. Susie Daggett says:

    I do think children pick up on our insecurities.

  18. priscilla says:

    yes I think they do….

  19. Our children are constantly watching us and I believe our actions and attitudes certainly influence them for the good or bad! I would LOVE to read this book and pass it down to my 24, 18, and 16 year old children. We need to remember it is better to please God than man!

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