What People Think

What People Think: A Small Thing

Warren E. Berkley

From the Jan. 2017 issue of Pressing On Magazine

Do you know people who stay up at night worrying about what others think of them? Not just a passing thought occasionally, rather the habit is formed and continued, to the point of distraction and perhaps illness. (Have you heard about the preacher who stayed up at night worrying about people who were sound asleep?)

It is certainly true, we must be concerned about our influence on others. The Lord said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16). I am to consider what others see in me, yet without obsessing over their conclusions or misperceptions. That may become a fine line. But Scripture is clear that we take responsibility for our influence but without getting worked up about what everybody thinks.

We cannot let people-pleasing become our priority or our source of constant anxiety. Paul said, “…with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court…,” (1 Corinthians 4:3).

Truth Connection: “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). Matthew Henry wrote: Paul “did not, in his doctrine, accommodate himself to the humours of persons, either to gain their affection or to avoid their resentment; but his great care was to approve himself to God.”

And …  if you would see into the minds of people, it might be – they are not thinking about you at all! God is.

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