What is with this saying, "I don't care what anyone think's about me." ? I hear that all too often and it is worded in various ways. I've also seen people be really rude and then say "what? I don't care what people think!" I've been guilty of it myself in the past. My almost four year old's favorite phrase is "I just don't care." Boy that's been fun to correct. I've never liked the saying in question and then today I heard it again and this time Holy Spirit immediately brought to my mind Ephesians 5:1 and I knew, he was trying to tell me something.
I don't think, that as christians we should buy into that way of thinking. We represent a BIG God. For some people we are all the Jesus they will ever see on this earth. Have you ever heard this quote by Brennan Manning, DC Talk used it in their song "What if I stumble," "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle." If we walked around with the mentality of not caring what people think about us then it will effect our actions and lifestyle.
As Christians we shouldn't worry about what people think of our clothes, the cars we drive, the homes we live in or anything else of material value. The quote does fit on the end of that mentality. We shouldn't be consumed about what other's think about us to the point that we are numb with fear and can't do the work of the Lord. You know what I mean, like when God want's you to speak to a room of people and you suddenly forget how to talk. That is a different topic for a different day. I digress.
In Ephesians 5:1 it say's "Imitate God therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children." - Imitate: 1. To follow or endeavor, to follow as a model or example. 2. To mimic, impersonate. 3. To make a copy of, reproduce closely. 4. To have or assume the appearance of, simulate, resemble.
We absolutely need to worry about what people think of us because of who's name we claim to follow! One of my favorite scripture is Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…" We are surrounded by witnesses. Every place you go, every word you speak ( or write) or share on Facebook is being witnessed by everyone who hears' ( or see's) you claim to follow Jesus Christ. It can kill our witness to not care. I have also heard people say that they don't care what people think and that God know's their heart." God also know's that you live with the mentality of not caring what anyone think's and use it as an excuse to do, say or go wherever you please. (that one stepped on my own toes.)
I for one want to be known by the fruit that I possess. "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." Matthew 12:33-37. In Jeremiah 17:8 "He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” And again in Psalm 1:3 "He is like a tree planted by streams of water…" As Christians we are tree's and are we bearing good fruit or rotten fruit? What do the people around us think?
I care a great deal about what people think of me because of who I am representing. If I worked for some big name company my boss's would expect that I would represent them well and with right conduct. If I was seen drinking heavily with my name tag from work on and I'm confronted about it, I couldn't give the excuse "well I don't care what people think about me or this company." It is in my job description to care. In my own life, I have worked for a Brand before that made employee's sign a form concerning our conduct on social media websites, because we were a reflection on that company by working for them. While I was at work I always had to care about what every costumer thought of me, because I was representing the brand and everyone who worked above me.
Returning again to Ephesians 5:1, we are supposed to be imitating Christ in everything we do. The "I don't care mentality" will effect and hinder our ability to properly imitate him. Wrong thinking lead's to wrong actions. If I don't set a standard for myself I won't follow through. We have to ditch this careless mentality and set a standard to care what people think of us. What people think of us is in large part going to be what they think of Christ or christianity as a whole.
As my pastor said recently, Lord redirect our thoughts', redirect our speech and redirect our feet.