Feeling awful is awful. I wasn’t doing a Sunday Thought today because of that reason. I’ve been feeling awfuler the past few days and progressively awfuler as the days pass. Yes, I know it’s not a word. It’s my writer’s prerogative angst at the moment. Bare with me. Yes, I said bare. You don’t want to know. And yes I am ignoring the people telling me to put my pants on. I have a blanket. I’m good.
What have you done that people will remember you for? Other than blogging without pants. Do you attempt to make an impression? Should you attempt to make a good impression? Does that mean you might do something that would make a bad impression?
You could carry this out with question after question, and sometime in the future I might do that in order to show you how my mad mind works. Today, I stopped with that question, although I can feel at least three more questions floating in that empty space up there, begging to seep out onto the page.
If you look at the Bible, we really aren’t to worry about making impressions, not ones to make ourselves look good. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”~2 Philippians 2:3.
You can look at the world today and see the people doing things for themselves. They want to get people to like them. Sometimes they want the wrong people to like them. These people may be celebrities or your best friend.
What is the impression you get from them? I would dare say a negative impression, annoyed, a sense of queasiness at times at even the mention of their name. Some will say, “At least you know me.” “Bad press is better than no press at all.” I think we’ve all heard some variation of that. Let’s look at the rest of that sentence from Philippians. I just love how that guy cut a sentence up to make verses. “not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”~Philippians 2:4 Here, we see it’s not about us, but about others. Don’t mistake this for sticking your nose into another person’s business. I think too many Christians look at it that way.
As we mature, age, we are asked who are the positive influences on our lives. In our younger days they might be musicians, actors, or athletes. As we get older we turn to authors, poets, activists, spiritual leaders, historical figures. We turn to people that hold up over time.
If you ask me who is an influence in my life and I say Jesus, many of you would laugh or roll your eyes. But take a moment to think about this. When looking at the teachings of Jesus, the historical evidence of his existence and death, and lack of negative remarks against him in the historical record, you find a man who holds up like none other. Even if you don’t believe he was God here on earth, he was a man who held up as a man who walked the walk that he talked.
His followers fail every day but he didn’t. Ignore me, ignore Billy Graham, ignore the Pope, ignore all the religious, spiritual, world leaders and think about the teachings of a man who spoke about what so many people like to harp on about as universal truths and beliefs.
Don’t try to make a good impression. Try to be a good person, live right, don’t be selfish, be kind and concerned for the well being of others. That’s how to make an impression. And how to really do it, is by not even knowing you are doing it.
Am I kind and caring? I like to think I am at times. I don’t set out to do it. It’s not my purpose. I wake up and I just do what I do. My intent each day is not to do bad things. Perhaps that’s it. My focus each morning, during my quiet time as I focus my thoughts and my world, is to do good, to focus on good, and to move away from bad. I fail each day in some way, but I keep trying.
I’ll leave you with this passage from Philippians, without the verse numbers, I believe they detract from the understanding at times.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
Bold emphasis mine.
Every knee will bow to a servant. Next time you are in a restaurant, kneel down in the aisle and bow to the one who serves you your food. Kneel down to the person who cleans the toilets in your workplace.
Jesus fed us the Spirit and cleaned up all our junk for us. All we need do is bow to him and acknowledge the truth. You don’t want to accept him? At least read and follow his teachings. Look at the Sermon on the Mount beginning in Matthew Chapter 5. As well as the rest of his actual words in the First four books of the New Testament. These are great words to live by.
The inspiration for this post came after I received a request from a former student for my address to send a high school graduation invitation to me. She is one of the loveliest young ladies you could ever know. That invitation came at just the right moment. As I had made an impression on her, so too had she on me, and through that, things work out for those “just the right moment” moments. I was about to give up on the A to Z blogging challenge, letting everything going on in my life get in the way and get me down. I was done with it, sick, tired. But I am going to try and push through another week and see what happens. A simple message and things change.
So this post is dedicated to that young lady. MB won’t be reading this but she’s out there somewhere, praising God right now in church. At least as I write this.
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