Some time ago, during the course of a conversation, a friend proceeded to tell me something she’d heard someone say about me behind my back. Before she could get three words out, I held my ears and said, “Stop. I’m sorry– I don’t mean to cut you off, but I’d rather not hear this.”
My kind friend stopped mid-sentence and changed the subject. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, and friends don’t use friends’ ears as a garbage dump.
Still, a few minutes later, this conversation between Me and my Self ensued:
Self: “Wouldn’t you like to know what was said about you?”
Me: “Of course not! What good would that do me?”
Self: “Maybe that person isn’t truly your friend. Finding out what was said about you would make that clear.”
Me: “And why is that important? Don’t I have the right and freedom to love that person unconditionally, whether or not he or she talks about me behind my back?”
Self: “Whatever. But it wouldn’t hurt to find out if there are any rumors being spread about you.”
Me: “I couldn’t care less. People know who I am. Shut up already.”
The inner dialogue lasted a fraction of the time it took you to read it. I was pleasantly surprised by that. It used to be those conversations in my head would go on for hours, even days.
By God’s grace, I am so getting over my Self.
See, Christianity, unlike religion, doesn’t seek to improve Self. It kills it. Baptism into Christ signifies the death of an old identity and the resurrection of a new one that can’t be brought down even if I do hear the noise of painful words.
I once knew a minister who was careful to remind people not to talk about him behind his back. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is insecure leadership at its finest.
What about you? How much do you care about what others say about you behind your back?