Every evening I sit with my husband and watch a little television before it’s time to go to bed. Typically, I prefer to be watching tennis or basketball while he prefers to find a good movie. Last weekend, we were watching some games on ESPN (March Madness, you know), and I was struck by the number of commercials (practically all of them) that appeal to a person’s vanity. These commercials are cheesy, when you watch them with the proper perspective, and lack anything genuine other than greed and the desire to impress everyone around. Watch for yourself and see. All of those luxury car commercials offer nothing more than my little car can except “upgraded” material and more things on the dashboard to distract me while driving. Actually, it’s hard to find a practical car on the market these days because our priorities seem to have gotten out of whack.
I don’t think there is anything I have that can impress anyone the way I believe we were meant to impress others. Yes, I firmly believe we are here to impress other people and hopefully inspire them to be more like us, but not in the sense that I am better than you or any of that nonsense. The impression I want to make on you and anyone around me is that I am not so wrapped up in myself that I have no time for you. I want you to see that my devotion to Christ has given me more joy, freedom and peace than any “success” I could achieve here on earth.
Romans 12:9-21 gives some helpful hints on how to live, here are a few: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another, not lagging in diligence, fervent in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer….Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse…Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil…… Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” (You can see I didn’t include the entire scripture, but only some highlights)
Jesus said that if we truly love one another then following the rest of the commandments is easy. Why is that? Because, when we truly love one another, we put them before ourselves, so we have no need or desire to lie, cheat, steal, be jealous, murder, or seek any type of vengeance. The first commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”. God has been telling us all along that when we put Him first then we will be able to see others the way He sees them and love them the way He loves them. Sadly, we don’t do that, do we? We’re too absorbed in our fantasy of worldly success that we put God on a shelf until it’s Sunday and we change our gears from impressing the secular world to impressing our spiritual friends at church. It seems to me that living this way takes more energy and is harder to maintain than living simply for God. (I know living for God is more of a challenge because we are constantly bombarded with material and worldly ideas that appear wholesome, but are nonetheless distracting). But just because living for God is challenging doesn’t make it harder to do. Once we get our minds really focused on Him, it really is the simplest thing to do and then, when the world sees how we aren’t always stressed out over every little thing that happens, they might begin to wonder, “How?” That’s what I want everyone to see from my life. I want everyone to walk away impressed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s