The kindergartners usually come late to our after-school program. My co-worker usually has to go down to the other end of the school and lead them down to the cafeteria, which is where we spend most of the afternoon. Two of the boys walked in the door and came up to me, like usual, as I am the one who makes sure the kids are checked-in. They were both arguing with each other, and as one of them ran away, the other stayed to talk to me.
"He told me that I was late coming here, but I wasn't," he said, trying to prove his case to me about being right.
At first I was a bit confused about him making such a big deal out of something as trivial as his friend telling him that he was late. The first response I was thinking in my head was, So what? Who cares? But as I saw tears welling up in his eyes, I understood that this somehow hurt his feelings. As I comforted him by talking with him, I reassured him that sometimes other people say things that aren't true. "Sometimes people are wrong, but there's nothing that we can say that will change their minds," I told him. "It's usually best to just ignore them and do what we know is right."
It is amazing how much kids care about what other kids say. Most adults still haven't grown out of this. So many adults can't get through a day without caring about what other people think. Most people desperately care about getting approval from certain people in their lives. May it be trying to fit in with a specific group of people, or getting into an argument in order to prove someone else wrong, or choosing not to help a person in pain because others might see.
Thankfully, God has designed relationships in a way that we should ideally care most about getting His approval. After all, if we care most about what God thinks, then our lives would be much more beneficial to others and pleasing to Him.
Image from blaugh.com