I recently had a fascinating conversation with some friends whilst on holiday in South Africa. They were telling me about a group of people they knew personally who were obsessed with what their peers thought about them. Everything about this group’s lifestyle was measured; not just the usual stuff, like the car you drive, the house you live in, or the school your kids attend. No, they included the Doctor you consulted, all the way down to the food you ate. One particular friend said that her kids were not allowed to eat the ‘Good Food’ on the top shelf of the fridge, the good stuff was kept for when friends came over to visit, the cheap stuff was for the kids.
That is utterly ridiculous! Its stunning that people would actually allow their kids to be graded as second class citizens to their so called friends. One should never allow the opinion of others to control their lives to the extent that every decision is based on group pressure. The Only person that should govern our decision making process to that extent is Jesus. He is The One we embrace and conform to because we are made in His image and likeness. We cannot allow anyone else to put their image and likeness on us. No Way!
Considering that The Lord alone should direct our decision making, there comes the temptation to go to the other extreme and totally disregard what people think in order to prove that we are non conformists. Scripture does teache that we are not to be ‘men-pleasers’, but it does not teach that we totally disregard the thoughts, opinions and advice of others. Having said that, let us look at a few scriptures that should inform our walk before God and man.
Why Should I care about what people think?
1- In Romans 2:24, there is an indictment against God’s people; it reveals that God’s name was blasphemed among the non-believers because of the Believers. In other words, our behavior before men effects God’s reputation in the earth.
2- The bible says that we are to abstain from all appearances of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
3- Jesus said that our light should shine before men. (Matt 5:16)
4- Paul said that he became all things to all men that he may win some.(1 Corinthians 9:22)
4- Jesus grew in favour with God and man. (Luke 2:52)
5- Timothy was instructed to be an example to believers.(1 Timothy 4:12)
6- We are not to eat meat or drink wine if it offends our brother. (1Corinthians 8:13) (Romans 14:21)
7- Lastly, I would say that the most important reason our image in the world is important is because we are sons and daughters of God and Ambassadors of Christ. (2 Corithians 5:20). We are enlisted to be His representatives in the earth and are literally called to re-present Him to the world.
In closing, I don’t know where you fall on the spectrum of people’s opinion of you. It may be that you are subconsciously under the yolk of someone else’s opinion of you. If so, let God set you free from that bondage.
On the other hand, you may be at a place where you don’t care what people think of you because you are saved by grace, and therefore your appearance to the outside world does not matter. If that’s you, let the Lord remind you of your responsibility to be His witness and representative in the earth.
Wherever you may find yourself today dear Friend, Allow the Holy Spirit to fill and empower you to walk in your destiny as a son and Ambassador of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Much love to all!
Marlon R Oliver