Continuing with our guest writer series, the Relevant Blog features Pastor Michael Stinnett this week. Pastor Michael is Lead Pastor at Verge Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He is a graduate of Williams Baptist College and teaches ninth grade. Pastor Michael and his wife, Tracy, have two sons, Ayden and Malachi. Pastor Michael is a Yankees fan and also loves the Arkansas Razorbacks.
“The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him.” Acts 16:2
When Paul visited Lystra in the book of Acts, he ran into a young man named Timothy. Timothy’s peers spoke so highly of him that Paul immediately wanted to take Timothy with him on his journey. That’s interesting to me.
We live in a culture that loves to say, “I don’t care what people think about me.” This is most often said by people who don’t want to be held accountable for their decisions so they proclaim that they don’t care.
I’ve decided that I do care, and I think you should too.
Here are a few reasons why you should care:
- People’s opinions of you are based on your actions. Typically, people make judgments about other people based off what they see them doing. If you act like a moron, people will call you a moron. If you want people to think highly of you, give them a reason to do so. Solution: Act like people are watching because they are.
- You get one chance at a first impression. Right or wrong, people will make their first judgment about you based on what other people tell them. It’s not easy to fight through a negative first impression. Consider this: if you run a business, you run a higher chance of having a satisfied customer if the customer doesn’t come in with a negative expectation of the experience. This is true of churches, schools, doctors, and life. Negative expectations will almost always produce negative experiences. Solution: Don’t give anyone a reason to speak ill of you.
- Perception is reality. This is sad, but true. Many people will not give you a chance to prove yourself if others have shared their negative opinions of you with them. If you want the opportunity to have a good reputation, be a person worthy of a good reputation. Solution: Again, act like people are watching because they are.
- People’s impression of you will determine your legacy. You will not leave a positive mark on society if society has a negative impression of you. As a public school teacher, I deal with hundreds of kids every day who are coming to me with negative expectations of their school experience. I work tirelessly to prove to these kids that school is a great thing. They need to look for the good and embrace it. I want them to remember the good things school did. This is how I want people to remember me: I want them to remember the good, the impact that I made. I want them to know that I lived for a purpose greater than my name, but by living for a greater purpose, I did have a good “name.” Give people a reason to have a good impression of you. Solution: Work to leave a legacy that makes your children happy.
Let's strive to care what others think about us so that our words and actions point others to Jesus.
To read more from Pastor Michael Stinnett, visit his blog at michaelstinnettblog.com.