“What Others Think About Us” by Garris Elkins

by | Apr 25, 2012 | Hope, Humility, Identity, Leadership, Restoration | 0 comments

One of the interesting things I have noticed in my years of
public ministry are the different ways people can choose to see the life of a
leader.  On one hand, someone loves and
respects you and says nice things, and on the other hand, someone else makes
unkind comments about you as they exit your life.  I am learning that we cannot take things
personal.

Recently, I had the honor of speaking at a national conference
in Los Angeles. The person who introduced me is one of the most respected
and recognizable faces in the Church, both in the United States and around the
world.  When I was introduced this person
said some very honoring things about my life and ministry.  I was overwhelmed with the favor that had been
extended to me.

That same week a woman left our church because she didn’t
like me.  She came to her conclusion
without talking with me and decided I was a major problem in her life. Her
anger and dishonor fell on me like a load of mud.

As I reflected on these two extremes of how a life is viewed,
I realized that some people will love you and others may not like you at
all.  This is not just a problem for
pastors – we all encounter this if we live long enough. What really matters in
life is what God thinks of us.  He uses
words like, Loved, Forgiven and Accepted
to describe His children. God chooses to see us this way even when all our
warts, blemishes, and failures are fully visible to Him. He knows all about His
children and He still loves us.

When I was introduced at the conference in Los Angeles my pride kicked in and I immediately
had to park the kind words spoken about me at the feet of Jesus.  When the woman left our church, I had to park
her angry words at the feet of Jesus also. 
Only at His feet can He touch the words spoken about us – the good and
the bad – and help them become a healthy influence in our lives. When God has
possession of what others think about us, He can use those experiences to grow
us past the personal definitions others have, so we can begin live our lives more
like the person He has already declared us to be in His Son, Jesus Christ.

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