Everyone desires to know what others think about them. It is an intrinsic need of man. When people say, ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks about me’, most often than not, it is because they have heard negative things said about them.
There came a time when Jesus wanted to know what people thought about Him. He asked the disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of man is?’ (Matthew 16:13). He got variations of what people said he was. Some said he was Elijah, some Jeremiah, some said one of the prophets. After hearing what they had to say, he went on to ask them, ‘But what about you? Who do you say I am?’ (Matt 16:15)
It was very important to our Lord to hear from the disciples what they thought about Him. After all He had done in their presence, the healings, the miracles, the casting out of demons and the teachings, did they really understand who He is? Peter responded by saying, ‘You are the Christ, the son of the living God’. What an affirmation! Jesus was impressed with this response and He knew that Peter understood this only through the help of the Holy Spirit.
Many years ago in Nigeria, as a young boy and a Christian, I was struggling to make ends meet. One day I entered a bus and paid the fare. The bus conductor mistakenly overpaid me the change for the fare. For a while, I struggled. A part of me didn’t want to call his attention to it. In Lagos, conductors were notorious for holding on to the change meant for the commuter and making the commuter forget until after they disembarked and the bus had moved away. I had fallen prey on a number of occasions and in my mind I felt this was pay back for the numerous commuters that have lost their fare change to conductors.
However, no matter how much I tried to justify it, I was uneasy. I felt uncomfortable and lost my peace. Just as I was about to get to my stop, I called the attention of the conductor and told him he overpaid me. The conductor looked at me with so much appreciation and thanked me. Just before I disembarked, he thanked me again and said those words I will always remember for the rest of my life; ‘You must be a Christian’. I could not speak, I just smiled and nodded my head in affirmation.
As I walked away, I knew how close I was to losing my peace as a Christian over a small amount of money which I would have spent that same day but with a guilt that would span many days. Trust me, the devil would have kept playing that scene over and over to ensure that I remember where I messed up. Does that sound familiar to you?
There are people who are observing us and wondering what it is about this faith we profess. They will not listen to the words of the gospel – they are not interested. But the only gospel they are sure to read on the daily basis is the image we project project. Do we project ourselves or do we project Christ through our conduct? How do we react when people offend us? How do we respond when we are under pressure?
Recently I was humbled by a remark made by a colleague of mine at work. Once in a while, when I come across something that strikes me in my morning devotion, I share it online with friends on my Facebook wall.
On one particular occasion, I posted the following, ‘Love is not just a feeling, it is a commitment’. Several people responded to the post. But the one that really got me thinking for many days was the post made by this co-worker of mine. He said and I paraphrase, ‘Steve is such a saint and I admire him. Anytime I utter those four letter swear words when he is there, I feel bad and wish I hadn’t but I can’t help myself’
I felt so humbled! I have never condemned him or anyone else in the office over their use of swear words but I never knew how he felt about using those words whenever I am there! I believe it is not about me, it is about the spirit of God using me as an instrument of example at the work place. I am by no means perfect but as I strive on to perfection through the grace of God by his living Word, He is using me as an instrument to minister to others even without a word of scripture coming out from my mouth.
My dear friends, let us strive to take advantage of every opportunity to showcase Christ through our conduct. That may be what others around us will see that will provoke an interest in them to find out what it is about us that makes us different.
‘How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.’ (Act 10:38)
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the owner of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He currently resides in London where he works as an IT professional. He serves in the ministerial team of his local church as well as in the music ministry. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org