Don't Worry About What Others Think

"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." -Galatians 1:10

I've been in a good number of bible studies/small groups where we have discussed the state of Christian evangelism in America and how we can better be advocates of Christ's gospel. The question often comes up, "Why don't we evangelize more?" The most frequent answers have to do with what people will think about us or the gospel (e.g. "Someone might think I'm foolish."; or "Someone might be offended."; or "Someone might not think I have enough evidence to back it up."; or even "I'm afraid of what people will think of me.") This is not good.

Be encouraged that the gospel is nothing to be ashamed about! When you are a messenger of God's gospel, He will work through you. If you are afraid of not having enough evidence or not being able to back up your faith, ask yourself this: "Does God call me to share the gospel?" (Hint: Yes!) and "Do I think God wants me to share it in this particular situation?" If the answer is yes, then "...don't worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit." (Mark 13:11) God does not need you to reach people for his Kingdom. He will carry out his will regardless of whether or not you obey him. Someone else's salvation does not depend on you, but on God. So be encouraged that you aren't going to completely sabotage God's plan if you "mess up" your wording or something. Proceed with confidence knowing that as you act in obedience, God will work through you in mighty ways.

And don't bother with what other people will think about your faith. Paul says in Galatians 1:10, "If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." And Jesus says in Mark 8:38, "For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." And again, "do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear [God] who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28) God does not want us to seek to please people - He wants us to seek to please Him. If we care too much about what others think, we are in sin, and are not acting in obedience.

However, we must also be sure that we are of the right motivation when we stop caring what others think about us. It can be easy to say, "I don't care what anyone thinks about me." I see people posting Facebook statuses all the time about how they don't care what other people say or think about them. However, I have found that this is often motivated by pride (the fact that they are flaunting it all over social media is often a dead giveaway of prideful motives). When you begin to not care about what others think, make sure that it isn't because you do not value their opinions or because you think that they are inferior to you. This kind of not caring what others think is despicable, and it is even worse than caring too much what other people think. Constantly examine your heart, and make certain that you are motivated out of respect for God's opinion and not out of disrespect for others' opinions

So, friends, be bold in your faith and live it out regardless of what other people think. Respect others' opinions, but let God's opinion dictate your life. Be blessed!

Matt KellyComment