Whether we want to know it or not, we allow ourselves to be influenced by others. Japanese food has become fashionable, so we start eating sushi. Coffee shops are the new trend, so that’s where we hang out, irrespective of the fact that we might despise caffeine.
The thing is… we are all looking for direction and acceptance. When we say that we simply don’t care what others think, we’re only fooling ourselves. We do care. In fact, we care a great deal. We are influenced by the way people look at us, talk to us, and how they treat us. Being made to feel invisible hurts. Being bullied and gossiped about cuts deep. It eats away at our confidence and makes us feel inadequate. On the other hand, people might look up to you and praise you. That’s a good thing, right? In a sense, it is. But when that praise and admiration leads to arrogance and a sense of superiority, it becomes very detrimental.
Without realising it, everything we do and say is influencing those around us. Are you and I saying and doing things in such a way that it brings them down? If we are, we are simply doing it to try and raise ourselves up.
Our security needs to find its foundation in Jesus Christ. The more we know who we are in Him, the less the hurtful actions of others will make us doubt our worth. It doesn’t mean that it won’t hurt. It just means that we won’t need to look for affirmation in the words or deeds of others. Jesus affirmed us when he died on the cross. Through His actions, He told you and I that we are more important to Him, than His comfort and His very life. And as Christians, we are to affirm others and let them know that they are so much more important than what people might think of them. When we show that God-love to every single person, it will influence others and affirm their worth.
The way people treat us doesn’t change how God sees us. Even if people hate us, God loves us. Even if we hate God, He still loves us. Even if you don’t have time for Him, He is patiently waiting for you. You don’t need to clean up your act and sort out your life. Just come to Him and He will do that for you. Be the influence that makes God shine through. Be the Christian that makes love conquer all barriers.