I quickly went through a mental checklist- did I owe him something? Or had I done anything that could have offended him. I didn't think so, but then again, I had seen "the look". What had I done? What is he saying about me behind my back?
I hate "the look". It drives me crazy. Some people are oblivious to it. But us sensitive types perceive it and proceed to dwell on it all day. We ask ourselves whether we have somehow offended the person giving "the look". We can drive ourselves crazy. On the other hand, oblivious types never even discern "the look." They cruise through life, perhaps offending people and perhaps not. But in either case, they are completely unaware.
Psychologists tell us that there are two basic types of people- those who are motivated primarily by external stimuli, and those who are motivated by stimuli from within. The first type carried to an extreme is the "people pleasers"; those unfortunate folks who invest countless energy trying to please everyone. The second type in its extreme form is the sociopath; the "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" person. And of course, there is an entire range of people falling between these two extremes.
Psychologists generally don't discuss the possibility of a third type. These people don't always do what they think others want them to do. And they aren't solely concerned with self-interest either. These people do what they believe God wants them to do.
You might wonder how someone can know what God wants them to do. Actually, it's pretty simple. As with any analysis, you have to start with some assumptions. In this case, you start with the assumption there is a God. And you assume that He is accurately depicted in the Bible; futher, that the Bible is actually His inspired Word. Once you make these assumptions, knowing God's will becomes fairly simple.
The Bible teaches us with a great deal of precision what He wants us to do. You have to read it, digest it and understand it, of course. But that's no different than mastering any subject. If you want to understand the law, you have to read the statute, or perhaps a judge's opinion. If you want to understand your finances, you have to plow through bank statements, retirement plans and the like.
There's one other point. The Bible also teaches us that God will reveal His will to us through His Holy Spirit. The Old Testament prophets talked about it. Jesus talked about it. The apostles talked about it. And the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit occupies the hearts and minds of Christians. We may have a hard time hearing Him, with all of the static and interference of our daily lives. But, like a faithful Friend, He's always there, just waiting for us to commune with Him.
So, I can worry what people are saying about me behind my back. And I can do everything possible not to offend anyone. Or, I can have the attitude that I will be true to my own principles, and not worry about what anyone thinks about me. But there's a third alternative. I can allow God to guide me, through His Word, and through His Holy Spirit. I can have faith in His Son. And I can do everything possible to please Him. And rest in the confidence that He has already provided restitution for my bad acts, about two thousand years before I was born.
And the next time I get "the look", who knows? Maybe his contacts are bothering him.