Saturday, May 16, 2009

On Others' Opinions of Christians

Piper argues in light of the tension between Galatians 1:10 (cf., 1Thessalonians 2:4) and 2Corinthians 8:20f (cf., 1Timothy 3:7, 1Peter 2:12) that:
"with Paul, we do care -really care- about what others think of Christ. Their salvation hangs on what they think of Christ. And our lives are to display His truth and beauty. So we must care about what others think of us as representatives of Christ. Love demands it. But we ought not to care much what others think of us for our own sake. But] notice a crucial distinction: the litmus test of our faith displaying the truth and beauty of Christ in our lives is not in the opinion of others. We want them to see Christ in us and love Him (and thus, very incidentally, approve of us). When John the Baptist said, 'He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30), he spoke for every true Christian. We must insist on being less than Christ. I am vigilant, as far as it depends on me, to be less than Christ to others."

- John Piper, Life As A Vapor: Thirty-One Meditations For Your Faith (Sisters: Multnomah Publishers, 2004).

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