Not Caring What People Think

As I readied the girls for church this morning and we rushed out the door, I took a final look at their outfits.


For a moment, I thought that I should have done better.  Shouldn't they be wearing tights under their dresses instead of cotton leggings, mismatched socks, or bare legs?  Shouldn't they have new white dress shoes instead of everyday sneakers?  Wouldn't it be better if I had found my little one's shoes instead of resorting to strapping her pink sandals over her white socks?

Wouldn't we be better prepared for Easter if we looked the part?

As we drove to church, I realized that the answer to my question is a resounding no.  

It's not about our outward appearances.  We don't need to have our acts together to come to God.  He invites us this way -- honest, broken, disheveled, just as we are.  We can come before Him with mismatched socks.

During service, a man stood to speak about how Christ changed his life.  I hated everyone.  I didn't care what people thought of me then, he said, speaking of his sordid background filled with violence, crime, drugs, and stints in rehab and jail.  I've known this man for years, and I knew parts of his story but not the depths.

His life is so different now.  He's a preschool teacher.  He works in children's ministry.  He's been clean and serving God for ten years, and my children absolutely love him.  I can't help but smile when I see him..  And what he said next struck such a chord in me:  And I don't care what people think of me now.  I am living for Jesus.  How could I not want others to know?

I don't care what people think of me now.

During services, this is a man who claps the loudest.  This is a man who always stands in the front, his arms raised, and will will shout Amen! and Thank you, Jesus!  

This is a man who -- I am sure -- has gotten sideways glances, even from fellow church-goers, because of his unbridled zeal.  Can't he just tone it down?  Let's keep this respectful.  

But no, he can't tone it down.  His life has been radically changed, and he's never going to forget it.  He wants everyone to experience what he's discovered.

When I accepted Christ at age fifteen, I was a pretty good kid.  I hadn't done too much wrong by most people's standards.  I don't have a dramatic testimony of being lifted from the gutter by God's grace, yanked from a lifestyle of blatant sin or addiction.  I've been following God for nineteen years. 

Still, do I have the same tenacity to boldly proclaim, I don't care what people think of me now?  

Because sometimes I do care.  I work in academia, an environment where faith in Jesus is not the norm.  I live in regular society, a society where following God seems antiquated or closed-minded.  I blog for readers, some of whom might not agree.

Even though I should have immediately left the sanctuary to pick up my girls in their Sunday school classrooms once the service ended, I instead went to the front for prayer.  My request was simple: "I don't want to care."

So there I stood, tears on my face, wiping my nose with my daughter's jacket that was draped over my arm, knowing that I looked disheveled and mismatched.  Exactly as God wants me to be -- honest, without pretense.

I am living for Jesus.  An audience of one.  

It won't always be popular.  It won't always be applauded.  It won't always be understood.  But I'm like that man.  My life has been marked by God, and I am so grateful.  

How could I ever forget it?  How could I not want everyone to know Jesus?

I want to point others to Christ.  Let me always care about people, but let me not care about what people may think.

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11 comments

  1. TheMomChefApril 08, 2012

    Bravo! Happy Easter, my friend!

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  2. Too funny, Robin. I went through the exact same thought process this morning as I glanced at G wearing the beautiful dress she received for her birthday and then immediately down to the sports socks and dirty sneakers peeking through the bottom of the ensemble. I involuntarily shuddered at first, and contemplated searching out the one pair of dress shoes she owns, but quickly came to the same conclusion as you. Tights, uncomfortable shoes, hair-dos that cannot be mussed - these are things that would only distract G from the reason for the day. (I certainly remember the itchiness of tights and how they always managed to work their way down to my knees before the service was over. How did they do this while I was merely sitting?!) 

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  3. I love this!  So true, we let ourselves get caught up in what the world is thinking.  Thank you!

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  4. I agree. And those are cute looking outfits anyway.

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  5. And a very happy Easter to you, as well.

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  6. Yes, tights do tend to migrate even while the wearer is motionless, and I have no idea why.  Thanks, Kendra.

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  7. Glad that you like the outfits.  I'm kind of a sucker for the mismatched socks, actually.

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  8. A friend recently reminded me that what other people thinking (whether it's about me or anything else) is none of my business! I have responsibility for my own thoughts, feelings, attitudes and actions but no one else's. It's all in "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend if you've never read it. Thanks for your post!

    Gina (www.holdingthedistaff.blogspot.com)

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  9. This comment rings so true.  So often I find myself choosing not to share about God based on what others might think of me - so silly! 

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  10. PetersonmamaApril 19, 2012

    Amen!

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