Do you ever wonder what people think about you? I think we all do. In fact, I had been under the impression that I did not worry much about what people think about me. I have recently come to the realization that I am more concerned about that than I thought (or care to admit, because then what would you think of me?).
However, I have not been successful at getting everyone to think well of me. And that bugs me! So, what am I going to do about it? I have reflected on this and considered how to think about this in a godly way. I have come to several conclusions.
- We will inevitably be misunderstood and misjudged (1 Cor 4:3).
I have been a student of communication for quite some time. And as I gain experience, I have come to the conclusion that it is amazing that any of us successfully communicate at all. I often leave a conversation thinking that it was successful only to find out later that we did not really understand one another at all!
So, I must expect miscommunication. Along with that, I will be misjudged. I should not be surprised about this. I should not get worked up or worry about it.
- We all have weaknesses and make mistakes, so we can be prepared to admit we are wrong and accept correction (Prov 19:20; James 5:16).
We would like for people to think we have it all together. Most of us are not anxious for people to see our weaknesses and faults. It is quite a relief to let go of this unrealistic existence. How tiring! We can just go ahead and get comfortable with our limitations and failures.
Accepting the reality of my imperfection puts me in a position to admit it when I am wrong and receive correction from others. My goal is not to look good, but to live right in the power of Christ.
- When we follow Christ, we can expect the world not to like us (John 15:18-20).
If you want everyone to like you and you have decided to follow Christ, then you are in a predicament. When we follow Christ, must choose to fear God and not man.
- Ultimately, the only thing that really matters is what God thinks about us (1 Cor 4:3-4).
What if we were as concerned about what God thinks about us as we are about what others think about us?
What does God think about us? What a joy to be accepted in perfect love by our Father because of our faith in Christ! And as an accepted son, my goal is to please the Father.
The only way to have peace and respond in a godly manner to difficult relational situations is to walk in intimacy with Christ, confident in his love, obedient to his leading, and empowered by him to speak the truth in love.
We can let go of being concerned about what others think about us and fix our eyes on our Lord who loves us! Not that we care, but the happy result of living a life of love, truth, and humility is being well thought of by others!