Sarah Mueller is Dr. Abramson’s daughter. Here’s her Mentoring Minute:
My husband and I like to joke around about what our neighbors might think of us. Do they think we are strange for having 4 kids (yes, really – 4 boys!) ? Do they think we are over-protective because we homeschool? Do they automatically think we are judgmental because we are Christians? When my boys are being much too loud outside, I wonder if the neighbors are rolling their eyes about “all those noisy Mueller boys.”
Today I realized these are the wrong questions to ask myself. I shouldn’t worry about whether someone else thinks I’m strange, judgmental, or over-protective. In Romans 12:2 ESV, Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” This means we are set-apart. I’m supposed to be different!
What I should ask myself is whether my neighbors see Jesus in my actions. When my son does something wrong, does she see me patiently correcting him in love? Does my neighbor see me loving and respecting my husband when others may be complaining about theirs? Am I welcoming and helpful, loving my neighbor as myself?
Once I redirect myself and focus on sharing and showing God’s love for others, I stop worrying about what others think. The negative impressions may or may not be there, but it doesn’t really matter. The kids are going to be too loud (they are sinners in need of grace just like the rest of us). I’m probably going to mess up and need to ask forgiveness. But I believe it’s in those moments when God’s grace shows through and He is glorified. So what do the neighbors think of us? I still don’t know, but now I realize that I don’t really mind, as long as I’m asking myself the right questions What kind of questions do you ask yourself? Do you need to redirect your focus?