Thursday, November 13, 2008

Does it matter what others think?

"Life is too short to spend time and energy worrying about what others think of us. Or should we care about what others think precisely because that really matters in this short life? Should we be radically free from what others think, so that we don't fall into the indictment of being a 'second-hander' or 'man-pleaser', a slave to expediency? Or should we keep an eye out for what others think of what we do, so that we don't fall into the indictment of being boorish and insensitive and offensive? The answer is not simple."
Life is a Vapor, John Piper
How then shall we live? Or, how is the tension between these two ideas resolved? I believe in Philippians 1:20, " Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death." We do care, very much, what others think of Christ; their salvation depends on it. We are called to display Christ and His truth and beauty in our lives, so we must care what others think of us as a representative of Christ. But for our own sake, why ought we to care much what others think? Our concern ought to be for Christ's reputation and glory and not ours. We are not called to display our value, or excellence or virtue or power or wisdom. Does Christ get a good reputation because of how we live? Is the excellence of Christ displayed in our lives? That should matter to us. We must insist on being less than Christ. Only in Him can we find the love and satisfaction we crave.

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