Think of it like this, a window in the house that you live in that you are constantly in front of it, and your neighbors are always on the outside looking in, in fact, they take shifts as to not miss one single moment. Every action you take, every word that you say, everything is seen, and they are not there because they are that interested in you, they are looking for something, waiting for something. With this knowledge, what would be your reaction, would your behavior be modified, would you feel anxious and nervous, would everything you did be contemplated first, doing all you can to not make a wrong move.
This is the path that some believers are on, overly concerned constantly with what others think of them, adjusting their lifestyles accordingly, according to the perception that they want others to see, to what they think will assist them in fitting into the society they live in. My friends, when you start adjusting who you are for the possible acceptance of others, when you begin down the path of being more concerned with what others think of you than what you know yourself to be, you are in serious trouble.
In the first place, we are not to be conformed to this world, (Romans 12:2) we are not to be people pleasers, (Eph. 6:6) those who inhabit this world are to see one thing only in us, Jesus Christ. Many of course have been led astray towards the ridiculous notion that He is love and only love, and those Christians, are in part, one of the reasons we now live in a society that enables those who are quite capable of taking care of themselves. These individuals are watching you for only one purpose, to find fault in you in this supposed path you say you are on, they desire little more than to prove to you by even the most minor misstep, that you could never be a Christian, after what I saw, heard, witnessed what you did.
Many decades ago when some of my friends at that time and I were hanging around downtown, one day when we were all particularly high, one of them said, “Everybody is going to know we’re stoned,” to which I replied “Yeah, so what.” Even at that very young age I knew that what people thought of me mattered very little to me, I was not living for them, I was living for me.
When Daniel heard of the decree, he did not hesitate, he was not anxious, he did not rush up to his room, making sure people saw him giving glory to the Most High, when it was the time that he normally prayed, he went and prayed, and when told of the consequences that would surely befall him, being cast into the lion’s den, he basically said, “Yeah, so what.” (Daniel 6)
There are a whole lot of people out there who say they are Christians who are far more concerned with what people think about them than what they should be portraying, the Son of God. They say they are separated, set apart, but they try to fit into the world around them, nearly everything they do or say is meant to not make them feel as if they are not part of this world, they do not choose their friendships based on the faith in Christ that person has, they will not even speak His name in public for fear of being ostracized from those that they are not even supposed to be having a long term, personal relationship with. They are deceived and deceiving themselves, they say to themselves that they are believers, yet they will do all they can to continue to live in this world, to form a bond with those in it, to call it home.
This face they put on is easy to see thru, for most of them, their only relationship to anything even vaguely religious is the hour they spend in a church building once a week, they are far more concerned with what others think of them than what the Lord God thinks. The worst part of this? It is what the lost world thinks a Christian is, someone just like them, the only difference is that they go to church.
If you are submitting to the will of God, when you fall, and those people begin to mock and scorn you because of it, you have one response, “Yes, I did, I sinned against God, and because of me I have given you an opportunity to blaspheme His Holy name, I have asked for and received forgiveness from the Lord, and now I ask of you to forgive me also.”
If you want to continue to feel shame after you have been forgiven, you go right ahead, it is your prerogative to do so, but, to put it bluntly, that would be rather stupid, and would hinder your continuing growth in the Lord. If He has forgiven you, you are forgiven, if you will not forgive yourself, then you have a more serious problem than what those in the world think of you. They will continue to bring the incident up and do all they can to find even more fault in you, let them, that is what they do.
We do not live in glass houses, but many will do all they can to find out every sin you have ever committed, not to put you in your place, as it were, but because they cannot reach Christ, and so they will take their hatred of Him out on you. This is how it has always been. Those the Lord has chosen He sends to a lost world, a world of envy, hatred, and pride, we are to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit to them, and if you pray for the strength to accomplish the task He has set before you, exerting that self-control mentioned last in that verse (Gal. 5:22-23) then it will make no difference if they continue to stare into your life, if they stand at the window waiting for you to make a mistake. You tell them you have been forgiven, if necessary, you ask them for their forgiveness, if you are justified in the sight of God, you just go ahead and look at them and say, “Yeah, so what.” You concern yourself with Christ.