Matthew 11:16-19 NIVUK
16 ‘To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the market-places and calling out to others:
17 ‘“We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.”
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon.” 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.’
We all want to know how others see us. This reflects all sorts of things from the desire to be loved, to the desire to know how well we’re doing. As the church, we sometimes find ourselves listening to the opinion of the world around us and building a picture of how well we are doing from that. It is good to listen to those outside a situation, they can have insights and ideas that might be helpful. But, as these words from Jesus remind us, those outside the church don’t necessarily understand the values and relationships the church is built on, and so, although it is good to listen to their voices and reflect on them, we should remember that their picture isn’t necessarily an accurate one. Of course, the best opinion, indeed the most important one, is our Father’s.
Father, help us live a life together and apart as the church that pleases you.