“But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.”
One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that perception is not important. You have probably heard many times that it is not anybody else’s business what you do. The reason people say this is because they don’t want to be held accountable for what they do in public. Certainly, a person’s personal and public life should be consistent, but the perception you display to those watching you in public should be carefully guarded.
The verse above shows that God is very much concerned with perception. He says, “But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen…” God is saying that He works hard to keep His children doing right so that the heathen don’t have a bad perception of Him. God is concerned with how His children portray Him to the world, and He will do everything in His power to keep His image pure. Let me give you a couple observations about the importance of how you are perceived by the world.
First, people do watch you. Whether or not you like it, you are living in a glass house. The world watches what you say and how you live to see if it matches. If what you say and how you live don’t match, they will perceive Christianity as a farce. To say that the Christian life is the best life and try to identify with the world is totally hypocritical to the world. If the Christian life is the best life, why would a believer want to be like the world? If the Christian life is the best life, the believer should live like a Christian. People do watch how you live, and they make a judgment in their mind as to the validity of the Christian life.
Second, you are a portrayal of God to the world. The only way the world can see God is through you. The world doesn’t know God as the believer does because the believer is a child of God. Your attitude and treatment of others is how the world perceives God. The question you must ask yourself is this; how does your life portray God? Does the world get a good picture of God through your life? You are the only bible that the world will ever read. You are the only image the world sees of Christ. You are the product the world looks at to determine whether they want to partake in the Christian life. If your portrayal of God to the world is bad, you will cause some never to accept Christ as their Saviour and spend an eternity in a Christless Hell.
With these two thoughts in mind, you should always be cognizant of how others perceive your actions and life. Always keep in mind that every minute of your life is under a microscope by the world. Those in your workplace are looking at you and are testing you to see if what you say about the Christian life is true. Those in your neighborhood watch how you live and are determining whether they want what you have.
My friend, always remember that someone is watching you every minute of the day. You never know when you will run into someone you know; therefore, you should properly portray the Christian life 24/7. Don’t live a double life. If you will portray God properly in your private life, you will never have a problem portraying him right in public. Perception does matter, and your desire should be that God perceives you as a great representative of Him to the world.