Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
1 So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. 2 Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. 3 As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. 4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.
5 So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. (NLT)
It is so easy to become captives to what others think of us. We may frantically try to please everyone and end up pleasing no-one. We may energetically try to conform to others’ expectations of us and in the process lose any sense of who we really are.
Others go to the other extreme and couldn’t care less about what others think. They are laws unto themselves, insensitive to the views of others. Such people become self-satisfied, egocentric individuals who can leave a trail of damage in their wake.
Paul tells the Corinthians that what they think of him matters, but it doesn’t matter most. In fact, he says that what he thinks of himself can’t be finally trusted. After all, we can be too harsh on ourselves or go too easy on ourselves. We look at ourselves in the mirror and can be either flattened or flattered.
We cannot trust our fan clubs or our critics to give a fair evaluation of who we are. We cannot trust our own fallible selves to give such evaluation either. We can only trust the God who made us and who knows us through and through. That might sound ominous given his utter holiness. But we ultimately take refuge in the fact that the only one who is entitled to finally judge us is the one who has acted to save us. My judge is also my saviour.