Updated: May 2, 2022
Here’s a familiar question: Who are you when no one else is looking?
But that is not the question I am posing. Yes, it is fruitful to quiet yourself, examine your off-the-radar attitudes and behaviors, and take into account what all you watch in private, what you look at, and what you put inside your body when you think no one can see you.
But again, it is not my aim here to probe in that direction.
My question lies on the other end of the spectrum. The issue that I’m raising has to do with how you fare with peer pressure. “Who are you in public?” is my question.
Let’s test ourselves by pondering the challenges below:
What are you like when the majority of people are laughing at the expense of someone else? Are you secure enough not to join in?
What if you’re in the company of people who are either accusing or defending a Christian celebrity or Christian entity who has credibly been accused of foul play? Do you encourage everyone there to do due diligence to find the truth? Or do you diplomatically-politically try to play neutral, so as to try to fit in with both sides?
How careful are you to judge righteously? Is your public personality so nonjudgmental that you consciously refuse to obey the Lord Jesus Who commands us in clear terms: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgement” (John 7:24)?
The point I’m getting at is that people tend to be more reasonable when we are not caught up with a crowd. Most of us are more sensible when we rise above the vulgar crowd and humbly pause to think.
Quick question: Are you wondering what I mean by “vulgar” crowd? I’m not talking about anyone being gross or disgusting. The traditional meaning of the English word vulgar is “characteristic of or belonging to the masses.”
In my Latin class in high school, our teacher posted a sign on the wall: “Rise above the vulgar crowd; take Latin.”
In this blog, I’m trying to say, “Rise above the vulgar crowd by following Christ in public.” I’m saying, “Be true to Christ in public. Do what is right in public.” Have you ever noticed? It’s a whole lot easier to do what is right in private than to do what is right in public.
Usually we think about how hard it is to do what’s right in private when no one else is looking, and that is surely the case when it comes to hiding and indulging in secret sin. But it is just as critical to confront ourselves with questions that help us not to cave and kowtow to peer pressure or cultural biases or political correctness and thereby serve the devil, not God (Matthew 6:24; Luke 4:5-8).
At Right On Mission, we believe God’s people can learn to think so Christianly that they find the moral courage to act with integrity as Christ followers, even in the face of opposition. I invite you to come learn with us, so that whether you are in private or in public, you find the moral courage to take up your cross and follow Jesus Christ out loud, even when everyone is looking.