We often stop to consider what others think of us. I don’t know many people who are not concerned about how other people view them. It seems only natural to the human condition. We want people to think well of us and to treat us well, and when they don’t we tend to get bitter or resentful. I have heard the argument over and over at the school where I teach…”I will show him respect after he shows me some respect.” Or “I don’t have to show respect to someone who doesn’t respect me.” But in the end the attitude is always the same, my view of you is dependent of your view of me.

However, this seems completely contrary with scripture. As Christians our primary concern should not be what people think of us, but what they think because of us. Paul told the church in Rome that because of those who claimed to be Jews in word only, and not in deed, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles” (Rom. 2:24). And so too we will find that God is often blasphemed because of Christians who talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. And yet we too often are more concerned about what others think about us, than what others will think of God because of us.

What amazed me more is the scripture that Paul had in mind when he spoke these wrote these words to the church in Rome. “Again the Lord declares, ‘Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long'” (Isa. 52:5). It is fitting that Paul had this passage of Scripture in mind in light of his over all purpose in writing to the church in Rome: to explain the gospel which had the power to save. For in Isaiah 52 we see that the God’s response to this situation is not one of judgment, but of salvation.

“How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, they shout joyfully together; for they will see with their own eyes when the lord restores Zion. Break forth, shout joyfully together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared His holy are in the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God.”  (Isa. 52:7-10)

So what is that the Lord intents of those that are now causing others to blaspheme His name? The answer is quite simple: to glorify Himself in their salvation. He intents to take some of those who have dishonored him and caused others to do the same and redeem them. Then having redeemed them He will make of them a people who not only honor Him themselves, but cause others to as well. “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pe. 2:11)

We then God’s chosen people, must be concerned not so much of what others think of us, but they think of our God. Do our actions reflect the glory of God to them and give others a reason to praise Him? Or do our actions give others reason to blaspheme His name and impune not just our character, but His.