“I Don’t Care what People Think of Me!” Well, You Should

In order of priority of opinion, here are the people I very much care what they think.

Now, I don’t care what a lot of people think about me. Clearly not all opinions of me are going to equally affect or trouble me. But there are most certainly some people I do care very much what they think. And, if you’re a Christian – particularly if you are an elder in your church (but not exclusively elders) – you should care about what these people think too.

 

It’s a statement I hear from time to time: I don’t care what people think of me! Some people seem to think it is some sort of noble virtue to not care at all what other people think of them. Even in the world of Conservative Evangelical online nonsense, the idea gets batted around from time to time.

There is certainly a time to speak uncomfortable truths. There is even a time to speak those sorts of truths to those in our camp, despite the fact that there may be some relational consequences in doing so. But it does sometimes feel as though we have conflated speaking uncomfortable truths despite the relational consequences sometimes with the more cavalier I-don’t-care-what-anyone-thinks-of-me attitude we display pretty much constantly.

Now, I don’t care what a lot of people think about me. Clearly not all opinions of me are going to equally affect or trouble me. But there are most certainly some people I do care very much what they think. And, if you’re a Christian – particularly if you are an elder in your church (but not exclusively elders) – you should care about what these people think too. In order of priority of opinion, here are the people I very much care what they think.

Jesus

Let’s be honest, if you don’t care what Jesus thinks about you, you’ve got big problems. Your salvation is staked pretty much exclusively on Jesus’ view of you, so you ought to care about it. What is more, if you really love him as you claim, your highest priority ought to be to glorify him, which we do by obeying him. In other words, if we love him, we better care what he thinks of us and order our lives around a deep concern for what he thinks about us.

As a minister of the church, if I don’t care what Christ thinks about me, I am not qualified to do my job. At a minimum, it means I will lead my church into severe error. At worst, it means I don’t love Christ, don’t belong to his church and therefore cannot possibly lead his people. Any elder who doesn’t care what Christ thinks of him cannot be an elder.

My Wife

Just as if I love Jesus I will care deeply about what he thinks about me, because I love my wife I care deeply what she thinks about me too. If I was being extremely utilitarian about it (and, honestly, I’m not!) caring what my wife thinks about me leads to a much easier and happier life for me. But, fact is, I love my wife and believe that she loves me in return. I have ordered a significant portion of my life around that fact. I care very much what my wife thinks of me because I love her.

Read More