- 1 Corinthians 4:3 (MSG) It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion. I don’t even rank myself. Comparisons in these matters are pointless.
The very first furrowed brow for the human race was when Adam realized that he was alone. Up until then everything had been good; but then God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18)
There are social dynamics about that statement that go far beyond the husband/wife relationship. The story of mankind is shaped by the tension between going and grouping.
We speak different languages today because our forefathers choose to group together and build a city instead of going into the world to populate it (Genesis 9:1; 11:1-9).
It has been over 2000 years since the church was first given the mission of going into all the world and sharing the good news of the gospel yet, in spite of all the technological advances we have at our finger tips, we still haven’t achieved the task. Why? There’s that tension between going and grouping.
We like to be with people—especially the people we care about, and it matters to us what those people think about us.
Think about it, a cow or a blue jay has never offended you. Even with our pets: we may want to please them, but their opinion of us is not a major concern that affects our decisions in life. It never dawns on us to be concerned about how we may appear to our cars or the rocks in our yards, or the building where we purchase our gasoline. But the opinion of a perfect stranger driving in another car beside us; the neighbors that live nears us and the lady behind the counter (that we don’t even know) at the convenience store—now that’s another story.
The moral here is that our “wiring” can go awry. Caring about what others think of us is one of the building blocks of a healthy society, but caring too much what others think of us becomes the building blocks of a prison—the prison of fearing other people’s opinion of you too much.
One of the benefits of our season of 40-days of prayer and fasting is that we spend more time with God and less time with others. As John Witherspoon, one of the signers of the United States Declaration of Independence once said: “It is only the fear of God that can deliver us from the fear of men.”
If you can come through this 40-days caring more about what God thinks about you than what people think about you—it will be worth any sacrifices you have made; for in the end, it is His opinion that matters most—get things right with Him and everything and everyone else falls into their proper place.