Ed Delph brings another thought-provoker…
What an interesting time we live in. There are so many people running around trying to impress others.
Every newscast, television show, new product, business transaction, movie, leader, church service, politician, academic or whatever, is driven to be the latest, the greatest, the biggest, the best. It seems like everyone is more interested in ‘looking good’ than ‘being good.’
But the truth is even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat. Just kidding… I think!
Performance and problem
It’s easy to get caught up in this type of perspective of life: status and stratus (being top dog).
Performance, competition, and being driven generally have a short shelf life. Many almost kill themselves to get to the top for a season.
Problem: New lions are right on the old lion’s heels. That’s when one gets ‘status-fried’ or ‘stratus-fried.’
Jesus was concerned about obsessive striving in his time too. He had some words of wisdom, love, security and freedom for people then and us now.
Live in response, not reaction
Author Bill Johnson paraphrases Jesus this way; ‘Jesus pointed out that when we lose God it is not God who is lost. We are not to live in reaction to the culture. We are to live in response to God. He was saying if you’re not having fun, you need to back up and find out where you left God.’
Jesus addressed this issue perfectly in Matthew 6:25-34 (Message): ‘If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.’
‘Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever got taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion – do you think it makes that much difference?
‘Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen colour and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers – most of which are never even seen – don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative and God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.’
Think God, think you
There are only three opinions that matter in life…
• What God thinks of you
• What you think of God
• What you think of yourself after knowing what God thinks of you.
Relax! What others think of you is none of your business. The best the world can get is you, being you, with God all over you.
Dr Ed Delph is president of Nationstrategy, an organisation with the strategy of envisioning and empowering today’s leaders in the church to be some of tomorrow’s leaders in the community. Link: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank-you. Clearly, there are some aspects of our culture that do not reflect the will of God as declared in the Bible, and being reminded of God’s purposes and provisions is always timely.