“See, I will make you small among the nations;
you will be utterly despised.
We care about our public opinion. We care about what people think and say about us. Even when we are advised not to care, we still care. One way we are controlled is by being told to mind what people will see and say. Since we must care, then it is good to find a way to influence what people think and say about us.
It is not only individuals who care about what others say about them, even organizations and governments. People are hired to package government and organizations in certain ways. People are hired to constantly follow public opinion on their organization and seek to fix it. Organizations discovered you will never succeed by not caring about what others say. To succeed you must care and seek to influence it.
As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
In the book of Romans cited above, Paul tells the Roman Church that the public opinion about them is bad. Because of what is known about them, the name of God is tarnished. Public opinion matters. Public opinion can affect evangelism. Public opinion cannot be ignored by any right-thinking person. We must seek to know how to influence public opinion.
1 Thessalonians 1:8-9
The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, (9) for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,
Among the Thessalonians, public opinion is about their message and commitment to faith. The public acknowledges them to be people of faith. Their reputation is good. It is a church everyone would be proud to be associated with. Therefore their evangelism is effective. Public opinion matters!
There is a certain level of being obsessed by the public opinion of your personal life that ends up becoming an impediment to your progress. Once you do what is right and generally acceptable, you must accept that not everyone would be pleased and you move on. To seek to please everyone is to seek to stagnate in life, for people will never be pleased. They even complain about God. You can’t please everyone. Do what you must, do the right, do the acceptable, and move on even amidst criticism. You care about what people say, but you are not tied by it, instead, you move on in spite of it.
Do not pay attention to every word people say,
or you may hear your servant cursing you—
You must care about what people say, but not everything they say. As a leader, you must be spoken about negatively. If you can’t handle people speaking negatively about you for no reason but just to pass time, you are no leader. The Bible says, if you pay attention to everything people say, you will hear your most trusted servant cursing you. A totally incompetent leader spends time receiving reports on what people say and then investigating them. A leader is assessed by those she/he leads. In the process of assessment, even the closest confidants can curse some of your ways. They don’t mean to harm you or bring you down, it is normal. Do not sweat over it. Get busy working, not receiving gossip reports, and investigating. Gossipers are low lives who should not even be interacting with a leader to share gossip. The Bible commands you not to pay attention to every word. Some words yes, every word no!
Our key text today from Obadiah tells us that God promised Edom, that He will make sure all nations despise them. God tells Edom that He will make them be seen as so small and consequently they will be viewed negatively by other nations. God is referring to public opinion.
God tells Edom that He will change the opinion others have for them. That opinion will affect how others will treat them. The opinion is very important. You are treated according to the opinion out there, whether official or otherwise. Mind the kind of reputation you have.
When God tells Edom that He will cause them to have a bad reputation, it dawns on us that our reputation is God’s business. You can do your best to have a good reputation, but if God doesn’t approve it, you will still have a bad reputation and consequently a bad treatment from others. It also means that if others deliberately seek to destroy your reputation, God is able to protect you, so that, the more they ruin your reputation, the better it becomes by God’s grace. We must do our best to have a good reputation, but above all else involve God in influencing our public opinion!
Dear God, save me from a bad reputation. Help me to have a positive influence and publicity. Forgive the goofs that could destroy me. May what others think and say about me be influenced by You and You alone, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
- Rei Kesis YouTube Channel (subscribe, click on notification and share) –http://youtube.com/reikesis
- Rei Kesis books on Amazon (Amazon will sell and deliver anywhere in the world. For those in Kenya you can buy from any ABC close to you. ABC is Adventist Book Center) –https://www.amazon.com/s?k=rei+kesis&ref=nb_sb_noss
- Rei Kesis daily blog –https://reikesis.com/