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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Impressing God is the thing

Joyce Meyers has written a book recently called, "the approval addiction". I haven't read it, but I like the title.

Many times we can become addicted to receiving the approval of others. And that is especially hard when we are misunderstood, misjudged and underestimated.

I read a story this week of a policeman in Dallas who was working undercover at a high school, posing as a student, trying to bust a drug-ring. In the process of doing his job, he showed up late for class.

The teacher sent him to the principal's office, who gave him a choice: licks or detention. Since the detention would interfere with a scheduled drug buy, the policeman had no choice but to take the whipping.

Isn't this ironic?

A cop is putting his life on the line for the safety of the students of an inner city school, and in the process has to take a beating from the man whose job he is trying to make easier.

The principal didn't know the man was an officer working undercover. When he looked at the cop, he didn't see a comrade, he just saw a long-haired kid.

Before he was a king, David faced a similar situation. He was still a teenager when Goliath the Philistine challenged the army of Israel. None of the Israelite soldiers dared face the challenge; they were paralyzed with fear.

David was God's man to meet the challenge, but those closest to him couldn't see it. His brothers accused him of being selfish and egotistical; the king told him he was young and too small.

Yet, we all know what David did. He met the challenge; with a sling and a stone he conquered Goliath.

Even though no one else recognized David's potential, David didn't lose sight of what he could do with God's help. He refused to let their lack of appreciation for his ability prevent him from doing what God had called him to do.

You, too, may find yourself in this position. Many of the people who benefit from the work you do may never recognize the contribution you make. They may never give you the acknowledgement you deserve. They may underestimate you. The may overlook you. They may see you as something less than you really are.

And in the process, like the principal in Dallas, they may make it more difficult to do the work you've been called to do.

If others misjudge you, don't let it keep you from stepping out in faith and letting God do his work in your life. Their opinion of you means nothing. Your faith in God means everything.

David told Goliath that he would strike him down so that "all of the earth may know that there is a God in Israel." (1 Samuel 17:46)

David's eye wasn't on impressing his friends or winning the approval of his family. His eye was on the big picture—that through this step of faith, God would be glorified before the whole world.

3 comments:

Jon said...

Not my will but thine, oh Lord; not to my glory but to yours. Something tells me that's part of a song or part of a psalm (aren't those kind of the same thing?) from somewhere in my dusty memory. In any case, how often have we heard (even just lately) of someone everyone else thought was poor or homeless or down-and-out, who then turns up to have donated thousands (in some cases, millions) to charities or to churches or to schools? These people didn't look for earthly favor while they were here, they were doing God's work and remaining humble while at it. Every time I hear one of these stories, I tell myself that that's what flying under the world's radar should be...and how we should be in doing good works. Jesus talks about doing charitable things quietly and without notice but chastizes those who do so with fanfare and bombast. The glory all resides with God...all I am, all I have, all I am able to do comes from Him and all glory from anything I do should be humbly turned to Him as well. Not that I shouldn't take the compliment well (we all should learn to do so with the appropriate amount of respect) but I must acknowledge God as being the giver of my talents, my gifts, my capabilities. I get so happy when the first words out of an award recipients mouth are, "I must give the glory to God..." and I wish that I heard it more often.

God, our Father, knows so well how to gift us so that we can fulfill His plan for our lives...He knows everything; He knows the beginning, the middle, and the ending of each chapter of our lives. He is the great orchestrator, the great author, the great creator, the great ruler of all that we have or see...so why do we have such a hard time getting with His plan for our lives. Oh, to be more like Jesus (or any one of a number of people in the Bible, who followed God's plan to fruition) without false start or hesitation or complaint.

I love God!! Let's all spread the Word.

Jon

Jon said...

I hope that others are reading this blog daily and getting something from it...I know that some find it hard to reply in this medium and would rather talk face-to-face with the blogger at some future point...it would be nice to hear some affirmation or dialogue from others as I (we) also need encouragement in our lives. I know our pastor is strong but (I feel) that it is our job to support, encourage, talk with, embrace, lift up, and/or verbally show our love and gratitude to him for the job he does in our church, in our lives, and in sharing his message with us daily.

We love you George and thanks for being our comforter when we're down, our counselor when we're troubled, our shepherd when we stray, our accountant when we need our "figures" straightened, and our friend always. May God always bless and keep you and your family.

Jon

Youth Extreme said...

This reminds me that we are spiritual beings as well as physical beings. THe physical part (ego) needs and wants affirmation. That what I am doing matters, that I am having a positive impact on the world. It is why you hear so many people who are close to retirement talking about the legacy they want to leave. As we struggle to leave a legacy our spiritual being is in conflict with the physical being saying does it really matter. Lean not on your understanding but in all your decisions lean on God. THe spiritual side of stuggles to be humble and unassuming. SOme are very good at being humble and others like myself struggle daily. I want to have a positive impact, I don't want someone to stumble or loose their faith as a result of things I say or do. But I still look to be in the fore front and be recognized. It is a spiritual battle I turn over to the Lord daily and seek his help for...