“I don’t care what anyone thinks.”
“It shouldn’t matter what someone thinks about you.”
“Who cares what they think?”
I’ve been struggling with these sentiments for a while now. On the one hand, sure we shouldn’t care what people think. We weren’t put on this world to please others. We should always be true to ourselves and our calling. We should never let the opinions of others sway our ideas and purpose.
But on the other hand, I tend to think that perhaps what people think of us actually can and sometimes should matter. If someone thinks we are mean, cruel, cold, heartless, insensitive or any other negative adjective, there’s likely a good chance it’s because we are.
I propose this to you. When someone tries to define you or share their opinion of you, do not ignore it. Instead, reflect on it. Search your heart. Do these characteristics this person see in you truly portray who you are? Are they misguided in any way? Is it all possible that they may be right in their assumption? If so, then I would say to you that it does matter what they think.
If someone were to tell me I were cruel, I have two options.
1) Decide that what they think doesn’t matter. I won’t be defined by their opinion. Continue on as is.
2) Search my heart and my actions. Did I do something that could come across as cruel, whether intentional or otherwise? Is there something I should apologize for? Make any adjustments needed and carry on differently.
Sure there are instances where it doesn’t matter what they think. If I wanted to pursue an acting career and people thought I was crazy, I would likely push on anyways. If I wanted to purse an acting career and people thought I was being insensitive to the needs of my family, being stuck up and snooty, then I would have to reevaluate how I’m proceeding down this path.
If I was so passionate about something that it came off a little bizarre, I would continue being passionate. If I were so passionate about something that I came off abrasive and judgmental, I would need to reevaluate how I’m approaching people.
I leave you with this…
No, it doesn’t matter what other people think. No, we won’t have to answer to other people at the end of our lives. However, there is something to be said for humility that allows us to step back and sincerely search our heart and mind to know if what the other person is saying carries any merit or not.
“25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:25-32