This is closely related to my previous post [“Just Be Yourself”]. Haven’t you heard it often? Perhaps you have even counseled others so? If you have become so liberated in your Christian journeying to the point where what others think about you is no longer your business, then let me disillusion you: You missed a turn somewhere!
Please show me one single verse of the Bible that suggests that Christians should not bother about what others think of them. While you’re searching for it, let me share a few that more than hint to the contrary.
- In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
- If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)
- If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. (Romans 14:15,16)
- And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
- Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
- We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. (2 Corinthians 8:20,21)
The word ‘let’ as encountered in some of the verses listed here is a powerful determinant. It implies and confers responsibility. It is your business to facilitate or enable what state of affairs it points to. So when the Bible says ‘Let your light so shine’ or ‘Don’t let anyone look down on you…but set an example…’ it’s simply saying: Do whatever you need to do to ensure what is desired. And this does not sound to me like ‘Forget what anyone else thinks about you.’
It seems we’ve received a lot of help from Satan as we revel in the evolution of our own more convenient brands of Christianity. I see with deep pain a stupefying fog from Hell seeping through Christian assemblies, over heads and faces of members who can no longer (or do not wish to) discriminate between what the Bible says and what some charismatic prankster pushes. And now we are here – this disquieting point of unquestioning acceptance of whatever garbage floats our way! The other day in church I heard a senior minister say”The Bible says that cleanliness is next to godliness.” I squirmed in my seat, afraid that someone might just shout out and ask, “Pastor, what verse of the Bible is that?” No one did, and he received his full measure of Amens and Halleluyahs. I left church wondering how many people actually believed the Bible says that.
If you have a post on your wall that says we shouldn’t care about what others think of us, please take it down immediately, no matter how beautifully crafted it is. If you have yourself peddled such nonsense in the past perhaps you need to apologize to those you spread it to. It’s another dangerous morsel from the Other Side, designed to encourage self-gratification and insensitivity, and no true Christian has any business sharing such rot. God wants us to be good examples to those around us, to generate Him praise and glory by the good impressions we make on our neighbors. Simple logic tells us it is not possible to WANT to make a good impression on your neighbor and at the same time not care what he or she thinks of you! So, saying you don’t care what others think of you is same as saying to God, “I don’t care what you stipulate or desire of me; I’m doing what I want anyway!” Simply put, if you are a Christian and you want to honor God, you must care about what your neighbor thinks of you.
Can we pick up our Bibles again? Let’s shake off this fogginess that so easily besets the mind so we can truly know and live by the truth.