DayBreaks for 7/11/17: The Right Focus
From the DayBreaks archive, July 2007:
Have you ever wondered what people say about you when they know you can’t hear them? I know that for some people, this is a major preoccupation! They are obsessed with what people think of them and what they might say about them. They’ll even ask you sometimes if someone said something about them behind their back, or even something that might have been somewhat negative. I guess it’s not unusual and we shouldn’t be surprised by it. Everyone wants to be well thought of.
Well, almost everyone. There was One who had a different focus on such things. His name was Jesus.
In Matthew 16:13 (NLT) When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” You see, Jesus, too, was curious about the things people were saying, except there’s a huge difference. Instead of asking “What are people saying about me?”, his question focused on an entirely different issue. He didn’t care what people thought about him, but he did care WHO they thought he was. If it had been you or I in His place, we would have wondered if they liked the last sermon we gave, if they thought we were intelligent, good looking, a nice guy or a nice gal. But those things didn’t matter to Jesus. Seemingly, they didn’t matter to him at all.
What mattered to Jesus was who people thought He was. It really didn’t matter if they thought he was a good speaker (they did – even if they didn’t like what he said!), or if they felt he was witty and entertaining. What mattered immensely was who they believed Him to be.
How would our lives be different if our focus wasn’t on WHAT people said about us, but on who we are? If we spent one tenth of the time on letting our Christian identity be known as we spend on trying to impress others, wouldn’t the world be much better served? It might be an interesting exercise to ask some people who know you at work (or even at church or in your family), “Who do people say I am?”
PRAYER: We get focused on all the wrong things about ourselves, Lord! Help us to know and understand that who we are in Christ Jesus is much more important than our cleverness or popularity. May we live so that others will see clearly who our Lord really is! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>