Most of us lean toward one side of the fence or the other: we’re quick to be offended at others’ criticism while accepting their praise—or, mindful of the sin of pride, we reject their praise while putting too much stake in their condemning words. But when we have eyes for only Jesus, we’re immune to both the negativity and the praise of others. Neither one can get a rise out of a “dead” man, i.e., a believer who has been crucified with Christ.
When we have eyes only for Jesus, we stop striving to be noticed—through good behavior or bad. (Sometimes we get a kick out of shaking things up and eliciting the disapproval of others because the end result—drawing attention to ourselves—is still pleasing.)
Perhaps the most difficult thing of all is to stop being our own audience. Sometimes we assume that it’s okay to assess ourselves as long as we’re being critical, but this still requires self-observation. Have you every prayed and thought, “Gee, that was quite powerful!” or “Gosh, what a lame prayer.” Neither observation is possible when we focus on Jesus—not those around us, not ourselves— but only Him.