In my 27 years of existence, I have sometimes been misunderstood. At some point, maybe we all are. The usual response would be to lie yourself like a jelly in a perfectly-shaped molder to look good and to taste good to everyone around us. We begin to think that what we are and what we have are based on the opinion of others. As we practice our way to be Christ-like, this mentality should be avoided. As what the Scripture said in Galatians 1:10—
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
This morning in the office, we were asked to write our first impressions of our teammates. All of us had our names written on a paper that was passed around. Each person had to write one quality on the paper. I was not so dumbfounded when my paper was returned to me with the words, “strong personality, snob, nice, snob, talkative, rich, rich but down-to-earth, etc”. Since I was young, I have always been thought of being snob, be it at school or work. I know this is just a general first impression of me but still, I can hardly accept it. I thought I have to prove them otherwise. Then I started to remember some of my personal encounters with each one of them in the past that made them think I am snob. And then I even asked a friend about it because I needed some validation of myself which led me to realize that what I’m feeling was not right.
Yes, I was hurt about what other people said about me. But God has spoke to me and said I do not need validation from anyone to prove them I am not the person they think I am. Only God knows me, in and out. Only God can give me judgment about who I am and who I have become. In Isaiah 43:2, it says—
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Isn’t it fascinating that people who know less of you have even more something to say about you? This is one painful truth that everyone is guilty of. I, too, have judged other people and thought them wrong one time or another. The old –adage “First Impression Lasts” has become too widely used that we choose to believe in it. While it may be true, we cannot deny that it is also not right. We seem to be oblivious to the fact that not all we see is what we ought to accept, vise versa.
Like a jelly trapped in a molder, we are held by limitations which keep us from doing what we are supposed to be doing. We tend to just agree with general notions and “go with the flow”. We find ourselves dancing ballet while all along, it is our longing to sing in a band. And the saddest part is, we become the person who other people expect or want us to be. We change just because we want to become perfect in the eyes of others. We do that because we think that is right. But the bible specifically tells us in Romans 12:2—
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
While we are only humans and are susceptible to daily circumstances that keep us away from what God has planned for us, we need to be mindful that we live not for others but for HIM and Him alone. We must act and speak according to his likeness. One day, it is God who will judge us and not someone else. Let us continue to focus our lives the way He wants us to. In Hebrews 11:6–
“And without faith it is impossible to please HIM, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that HE exists and that HE rewards those who seek HIM.”