“…I don’t want anyone to think more highly of me than what they can actually see in my life and my message.”
People work really hard to look good in the moment. Maybe it is social media which has turned everything into a “photo op” and if we get the right one, then we think that bolsters or establishes who we are. I know it’s been hard for those on Social Media who were so used to their regular photo ops that told the story of what they were doing and where they fit in with their social circles. But, we all know (even when we don’t say it aloud) that we are perceived and yes, judged far deeper than just the surface of our lives and no picture that we create can change that. In our work, it’s a culmination of our time, energy, actions and words that create the whole story of who we are. It’s like we make deposits and withdrawals with every move we make, hoping to never bankrupt what others think of us. The superficial, self-made up, trivial deposits don’t mean much. The deeper, time, energy, caring that spend on others are the deposits that yield.
Paul was a straight shooter. He didn’t mince words, although it might have been more forceful in letters than in person (we are going to explore that tomorrow and how that works out for us these days), but he called it like it was and he didn’t care about how others judged him, nor did he try and manipulate or create perception from others. When you sum it up, it made sense that Paul was admired and followed by so many others, because at the end of the day he was who he was, what we would call now, “transparent” and wanted nothing more than to be the follower of Jesus that he aspired to be. Isn’t that kind of accounting we would like to have of our lives?
Reference: 2 Corinthians 12:6 (New Living Translation)