People are watching you. They want to know what motivates you and keeps you going. They see all the little things you think no one sees or cares about. They care. One day, maybe it will lead them to be like you.
All of the actions you take are seen and filed away. Hopefully this is mostly a good thing! The times you do the right thing at your own expense have people intrigued. When you put someone else’s needs ahead of your own, people move a little closer. They can’t help it. Kindness and love are counter cultural to the point that others need more information.
Back in Jesus’ day, this happened. His cousin John had some crazy ways. (I know I am intrigued by him eating bugs and wearing itchy camel hair.) John told people to repent and ended up in prison for speaking the truth and telling King Herod not to marry his brother’s wife.
A verse that speaks to me these days is Mark 6:20. “Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him.” The man put John in jail, which I think we can all agree is not treating him nicely. Herod even had John beheaded. John definitely made a mark on Herod’s life, but by Herod’s actions, you wouldn’t know it.
The world is like that too: people want to do their own thing and look out for their own interests. They don’t want to serve others and put others’ needs first, BUT they know that is the right way to act. When they see someone who is living out a life that is godly and pure, they are confused. How is this person doing that? Why are they behaving that way?
Fairly often, when someone is perplexed by Christlike behavior, it manifests itself as disdain and outright contempt. They may want to assume this person must be full of themselves. They may distance themselves so they can feel better about their own life. I don’t think it usually involves jailing them, but that is a possibility! People can find it easier to put someone else down instead of analyzing their own behavior.
Maybe looking at it this way is easier for me. There have always been people in my life who either hold me at arm’s length or show very obviously that they don’t like me. It took me a few decades to see that not everyone has to like me. I am still a work in progress as I still want people to like me. But I know now that I make some people uncomfortable. While that is never my intention, it can be a good thing. God can always use us in people’s lives as a tool of conviction.
Trust me when I say that I laugh when I realize someone thinks I am too “good” or “nice.” Who, me? I have many faults and don’t always think nice thoughts or say kind things. I am human. I am just glad that God is able to use me and other people who love Him to help others who may be lost. If they see me in my godly moments, that is wonderful and all God’s doing. I hope you see this and remember that being different than the world is good. Keep going and keep pleasing God. His opinion is what matters!
Linking with Holley Gerth.