Do you ever catch yourself saying, “I don’t care”?
Growing up, I thought of the phrase as a sign of a bad attitude; however, over the last few years, I started saying it as a way of showing how the things of this world were not affecting me. I had read in the Bible that we are not to conform to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2), nor seek the approval of man (Galatians 1:10); however, my interpretation of these scriptures continued to be warped until God recently opened my eyes to see the truth of my actions, words, and approach.
I had thought that speaking my mind and sharing the truth — not worrying about how my words affected those hearing them — showed that I was not being influenced by the acceptance of others. I would say to myself, “I don’t care how this sounds; it’s the truth…” or “I don’t care how people look at me, I am confident in myself.” It became an unconscious habit that soon turned into me saying things like, “I don’t care what people say about me; the opinions of man don’t matter. I don’t care what I look like; I’m tired…” The list goes on and on.
While it is good to put our confidence in the Father (Proverbs 3:26) and be honest with everyone (Colossians 3:9-10), the Bible also says that we are to be a light (Matthew 5:14) and an example of Yeshua in everything that we do.
Ephesians 4:22-25,29 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body…Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
We see in the passage above that while we are to speak honestly with one another, we should also be building each other up with our speech. Yes, there will be times where we need to be firm, but, in those moments, we should remain calm and not speak harshly or out of pure anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
1 Peter 4:7-9,11, “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins… If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God…”
Look back on the last conversations you had and ask yourself, “Was I talking as if God was speaking through me? Were my words coming from my flesh or the Holy Spirit?” As we grow in our faith and become spiritually mature, God will show us that while our intentions might have been pure, our approach was not. Some of you may not “care” about how your words are heard, but God does. We are representatives of the Kingdom of God (2 Corinthians 5:20) and called to shine the glory of our Heavenly Father throughout the world (Isaiah 49:5-6, Matthew 5:16, 2 Corinthians 4:6); but, how can we do these things if the fruits of our hearts are not of the Spirit?
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
God judges our hearts and sees when we are not walking in his ways. When we say, “I don’t care,” God is not only listening to you but seeing the fruit that is coming out of those words.
I am guilty of all that has been written; and each day, I’m continually learning what it means to walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (this is a big one for me) and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Because the Father has opened my eyes to these things, I would like to apologize to all those with whom I have spoken harshly or acted in a manner that was not one of the fruits of the Spirit. We are all on a journey that is shaping us, and while there will be times when we stumble, I pray that we will always be teachable when the Lord reveals the part of our lives that need maturing.
I’m beginning to understand that our outlook on life is all about our attitudes. When we care about the world around us and the fruit we are producing, our eyes will be opened to seeing both the glory and the sorrow happening all around us. Rather than shrugging things off and acting out of my flesh, I’ve made the decision that I am no longer going to say, “I don’t care,” and when I feel the urge to think about the phrase, I am going to make it a habit to respond with, “I DO care!”
“I DO care how my words sound to other people. Truth needs to be heard but in the right attitude.”
“I DO care about how my actions affect people. I’m confident in my identity in Yeshua, but can others see His work in my life through the way I’m living?”
“I DO care what people say about me, though I will not take offense.”
“I DO care what I look like because I am a representative of God. While I am not vain or prideful, I will clothe myself in purity and godly attributes (Colossians 3:12-14).”
I DO CARE!!
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12