People Are Watching You.
Did your parents ever tell you before you left the house in particular moments, “Don’t forget you represent more than just yourself, you represent our family and Christ”? Mine occasionally would and it was a helpful reminder. Why? Because it is easy to forget that people pay attention to you.
This is true of all of us. You may believe that people do not care about you or pay little attention to you; however, most of us have a much bigger impact than what we understand. However, it is easy to miss how many people actually watch us. Let me suggest 3 important concepts for you to keep in mind.
The Reach of What You Do
How do people pay attention to you? To answer that question, consider how you typically pay attention to others around you. It depends of course upon the venue. On social media, you scroll, and scroll, and scroll. People give their opinion, share something funny, tell of personal experiences, give their opinion, provide political commentary, post pictures of favorite places, people or events, give their opinion, share recipes, and on and on. That is just one way you pay attention to others – and they pay attention to you.
Now multiply that by all the other ways that you engage people. You talk with coworkers, neighbors, family members, and sometimes complete strangers. You work around people, in front of people, and with people. You eat out where people observe you, eat at home where conversations take place, and eat with friends occasionally. You shop. There are whole internet sites committed to sharing funny pictures of people just shopping at Wal-Mart! You play – online, outside, and inside. You live – and sometimes live big.
The Power of What You Do
As people watch, you influence. One of the verses that impacted me regarding this years ago was Philippians 4:9. “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (italics mine). Consider these questions: What does it take to learn? A teacher. What does it take to receive? A giver. What does it take to hear? A speaker. What does it take to have seen something? A doer.
You are all of those things to others. As they observe you, you teach, give, speak, and do. People learn, receive, hear, and see. Intentionally or not, learning takes place.
When my son was very young, I notice that he would often touch the top or back of his sister’s head – and other smaller children – when he would tell her, “I love you.” I wondered why he would do that until one day at the end of a service, as I visited with people leaving the service, I noticed that I too would put my hand on the head of all the little ones walking by and tell them that Pastor Kevin loved them as I wished them a good week. Even as a four or five year old boy, he had observed how I engaged all the other little children and was doing the same – although at 16 he does not respond to his sister now in that way. :)
This is a simple example that communicates a great and powerful truth. People watch you and learn from you – even when you are not paying attention to your own self. How you respond to other people – they’re watching. How you respond to officials at the game – they’re watching. How you respond to authority in your life – they’re watching. How you drive – they’re watching. You are constantly teaching, giving, speaking, and doing; those around you are continuously learning, receiving, hearing, and seeing.
The Opportunity of What You Do
The issue then is not a matter of if anyone pays attention; instead, what and how are you influencing them? You can make a great difference in the lives of those around you. In the Philippians passage, Paul said that God would be satisfied with each individual that would live consistent with what he taught, gave, spoke, and did. Can you say that? “God would be satisfied, __(person who is watching)__, if you do it just like me.” There are many, many occasions, days, or seasons that I can’t say that. What about you?
This is your opportunity. You can live in a way that impacts people for the good. You can be an encourager. You can be wisdom. You can be love. You can be kindness. You can be light. You can be compassion. You can be calm. You can be patient. You can be godly. You can also be the opposite as well.
So, today, what kind of person will you choose to be? Don’t forget, people are watching!
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How have you been surprised before when you had impacted someone either positively or negatively?
Pastor Kevin’s Blog | Walking together through life as friends in Christ sharing wisdom along the journey