The fear of others lays a snare, but one who trusts in the Lord is secure. Proverbs 29:25 NRSV
One of the most uncomfortable questions may be, "What do you think?" It often means the person seeks approval, which we may not feel inclined to give. Also, in giving our answer, we may desire their support in return. Sometimes, we may even coach our reply to be less than truthful, doing a disservice to both of us. We do this because we care what others think. We want to be liked, even if it comes at a cost.
To some extent, this is normal healthy behavior. For example, if someone were to ask, "What do you think of this shirt?" Even if it is perfectly hideous, it serves no purpose to say so. Your honest reply, which is only your opinion, will only create hurt feelings. Though this may be an extreme example, you get the point.
However, when we place a higher value on what others think than we care what God thinks, it is a spiritual problem. We put our souls in jeopardy. It's the whole being in the world but not of the world thing, which Jesus talks about in John 17:14-15. As disciples, we strive to balance between too much and too little. We need to have good relationships with others while making God our priority.
God, we thank you for the security you offer. Help us not to put our trust in what others think but in what you would have us do. Guide our words and deeds, so we may live in the world and stand out as you witness. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.