I love people watching. One of my favorite pastimes is to sit somewhere: a mall, a park bench, a library, a restaurant and watch. I like seeing how people interact with one another, how people act in uncomfortable situations, how people show their different emotions, etc.
It makes me wonder how often I’m being watched. How many people watchers have their eyes on me? What do they see in my actions and what are they led to believe about me?
I’m studying 1 Peter, and this week we looked at chapter three, which talks a lot about relationships. We read about relationships between husband and wives and relationships with others.
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
1 Peter 3:8-9
We are called to love. We are called to have sympathy and a tender heart for those around us, blessing those who do evil against us. How hard is that?
Christians are kind of under the spotlight. People are always watching us, waiting for us to do something “un-christian” so that they can pounce on us and critique us. We’re expected to lead perfect, Christian lives. And that’s impossible. We are sinners, after all.
But we can use this “spotlight” to spread God’s love. If we are sympathetic and tender to someone who has harmed us, what will that person think? If people watching us in a mall see us loving those around us, what will they see and learn? If we Christians can’t even get along with each other, why would an outsider be tempted to join? Instead of arguing, instead of gossiping, instead of rejecting, we need to focus on loving.
People will notice. People will notice if we are the kindness in a world full of impatience and rudeness. People will notice if we’re the tenderness in a sharp world. People will notice if we’re the humility in a self-centered world. People will see our light if we are bold enough and courageous enough to shine it.
People will ask, “Why are you so different from the world?” And that is our opening, our moment to share Jesus with them.
Love one another.
Image taken from Young Adult Author Rendezvous “Character Inspiration: People Watching“