Keeping up Appearances

It matters what people think.  I might say that it doesn’t, but it does.  I want you to like me.  I want you to think well of me.  And you want the same from me.  I’m not sure that’s all bad.  Think what life would be like, how odd it would be if nobody cared what anybody thought.
Ever have a neighbor who didn’t care what you thought?  Grass as high as the shrubs, screaming at the top of their lungs with the windows open.   You wish some people would care a little more what others think.
Think what girls would look like if they didn’t care what others thought.  No make up.  No shampoo.  No perfume.  No stylish clothing.  Guys are thrilled that you care.
Girls, think what the guys would be like if they didn’t care what anybody thought.  They wouldn’t shave, bathe, or wear deodorant.

Sounds like college, actually.
Anyway.  It’s not all bad.  We change some things about ourselves because we care what we look like to others.  We alter our behavior and hold our tongues.  That’s good.
I’m always a bit nervous around someone who says, “I don’t care what anybody thinks!”  I care.
But I have to be careful with this.  If I don’t watch it, I’ll care too much what people think.  And I’ll begin to perform a certain way to please whoever I’m with.  Psychologists call this a patchwork sense of self.   When you are at church you act a certain way because that’s what’s expected.  When you go to work you act another way.  When they are with the guys or the girls you act yet another way.  Your personality is like a quilted patchwork.
God wants us to be real.  He wants you to be the same person regardless of who you are around.
That’s the point of Matthew 6:1-18


It’s like the sign on the fence outside the old haunted mansion.  Beware.  Watch out.  Be careful.  Danger ahead.

…Beware of practicing your righteousness before men in order to be noticed by them. (Matthew 6:1)

The word for notice is the same word as “theatrical.”  Don’t get up on stage and perform for people.  No spiritual drama queens.
Look at the warning,  “When you perform for the applause of men you lose your reward from the father.”
So keep it real this week. Be who you are.

That’s the good news now have a great day.

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