Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why You SHOULD Care What Other People Think About You

So this is the antithesis of everything American. We are a people of individuality and of live and let live and of "mind your own business". No doubt about it, our society inundates us from day 1 to not give a you know what about what others think about us. Its my life and I will do what I want as long as it doesn't hurt others. Even if it does hurt others, as long as its not criminal. Even if its criminal, sometimes its ok as long as you don't get caught. I don't care what you think about me, you don't care what I think about you and thats how it should be. That is the social programming of our great nation.

While there is some merit to this thought process, it is important to understand the Biblical perspective on this topic. As Christians, we are supposed to care about what others think about us. Romans 12: 17-18 says, 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. We should care how people see us. Our reputations are important. We are supposed to be the manifestations of God's love and spirit on Earth. I'm not saying we should be perfect but we should be aware of how our actions help or hurt the process of furthering the Kingdom. When we sin, we not only hurt our own relationship with God, we also hurt our witness with other people. 

The one area where this "lie" is not a total lie is when it comes to sharing God's love. When we are doing Kingdom work, we should not care at that time if someone judges us to be zealous, "holy" (in a negative context), stupid or mislead. We shouldn't care about judgement like that but even then we should be aware of what people think. We should be respectful and humble, not boastful about it. We should be caring and loving instead of forceful and pushy. We should take care of the people first, before we try to evangelize. We should evangelize gently and not try to "thump" people. Remember that our role in conversion may be very, very, very small. 

Bottom line is this, the Bible tells us to be aware of what other people think of us and to try to maintain good standing with everyone we meet. The notion of "individuality over all" and not caring one bit about what someone thinks about you is not scriptural. I don't know that we have to worry about people liking us but we do have to worry about reputation and how our actions affect our ability to carry out the Great Commission. My 2 cents. What do you think?

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