DAY 17

March 20, 2017

Do you know anyone that every time you are in their presence you need to make sure to impress them?... Come on, be honest...

It's human to want to impress others so that others can have a good first impression or a positive opinion of you. 

Is it really a sin to want to impress others? 

I don't believe there is anything wrong with being impressive, but I believe that living to impress others is not only a sin but slavery... You can never really try to impress people and consistently be you. You will end up living a façade, a false life that is superficial and wavering. You might be into sports one day because the person you are trying to impress is into sports, and the next day you might be into music, then arts, then culinary, then... you get the picture. But who are you really? What are the things that you actually enjoy doing? Or maybe you've decided that what you enjoy is impressing people...

 

In the next few days we will be reflecting on Jesus' words found in Matthew 6. 

 

REFLECT:

Matthew 6 

1“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

It sounds unfair doesn't it? Maybe it sounds stupid on God's part... Who cares whether I did things to impress others or not. What should matter to God is that I actually did it. The poor have something that they didn't use to have because I gave it to them. Why does it matter if I am bragging about it? 

 

This passage reveals Jesus' and God's disgust for hypocrites. People who live an outward life that does not at all reveal who they really are inside. Jesus declares in this passage that no matter how much you gave, or to whom you gave it, if your desire in doing it was to be able to brag and impress "you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." Wow!

 

Here's why... 

When you seek to impress people you are not giving but buying.

Instead of giving selflessly, you are buying good thoughts and opinions of others about yourself. 

 

God is concerned about the purity of your MOTIVES. And He will reward you accordingly!

 

CONFESS:

Merciful God, 

I confess that I have often made decision based on what others would think of me.

I confess that I have sometimes been more concerned about the opinion of others about me than your opinion.

I confess that I have stressed over how others view me and have sometimes been enslaved by their approval. 

Forgive me Lord, I pray!

Deliver me from my desire to please and impress.

Deliver me from the pressures put on me by others.

Help me be concerned with having a pure and honest motive.

Help me be moved to action because I'm compelled by you. 

Help me not to impress others, but to seek to love them.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

 

Jesus warns us not to live to impress.

But he doesn't prohibit us from being impressive.

Live for God. Follow His will. Love others. And you will certainly be an impressive person.

Others will see it, they'll admire it, they will eventually want it. And you can lead them to Christ!

 

PRAY:

Psalm 51

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation

    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

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St. James Church

5050 E. 111th St. South, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74137  |  918-299-1133

 info@sjc.church