Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Think (09/02/10)
TITLE: How Others Think
By Edmond Ng
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Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8 NAS)“We need not think too much about what others think of us because they seldom do.”
That is a statement written by a friend of mine in her instant messenger’s status. In a sense, there is much truth about people seldom thinking about us when they are too busy with their own cares or pursuits in life. However, it is not necessary entirely true that we should not bother about what others think of us, otherwise we may run the risk of being misunderstood. There are of course also exceptions—people who genuinely care and think of us constantly.
Being concerned about what others think of us is nothing wrong, but being overly concerned is. Dressing up to look good so as not to give others an opportunity to think of us negatively or unfavorably is reasonable. How others think of us however largely depends on how we think of ourselves and them.
We may be able to camouflage ourselves with pretense to put on a false front before men, but it is ultimately our inner being that reveals our true selves. If we think too highly of ourselves and look at others around us as beneath our status, no amount of pretense will help us gain good impression or change how others think of us. Like one who spins promises he or she cannot keep, so shall the truth be revealed eventually (Matthew 7:18; Luke 6:43). Our behavior and the way we act on things will reveal our hearts and attitudes to disclose our true state of minds to the world (Luke 8:17; 12:2).
Let us therefore not pretend or think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think, but think with sound judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has given us (Romans 12:3). After all, so long as we are still on earth, none of us has obtained perfection (Philippians 3:12), so we ought not to think of ourselves as better than others or that others are inferior to us. Instead, let us fix our eyes on Jesus and press on so that we may lay hold of Christ our Lord, the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 3:12).
If we are to compare or boast, then let us boast of what pertains to our weakness, yet not beyond proper limits, but within the area of influence God assigned to us (2 Corinthians 11:30; 10:13). Rather than doing or thinking from selfishness or empty conceit, let us with humility of mind regard one another as more important than ourselves, looking out not only for our own interests, but also the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4). Therefore, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let us dwell on these things (Philippians 4:8).
Thank You, dear Lord, for being our Friend—One who never doubts us and who always understands, genuinely caring and constantly thinking of us. Help us Lord not to be overly concerned about what others think of us, but instead regard the interests of others as more important than our own. Remind us constantly Lord to dwell our minds on what is honorable, right, pure, lovely, and of good repute. You alone, O God, is worthy of all praise.
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