Dear Ones,

Who are you trying to impress? Off of the top of our heads, each of us would probably all answer “no one,” but then, if we took time to think about different situations in our lives, such as work, our school classes, sports practice with teammates, our friend groups, and sometimes even our families, we might come up with a different answer.  One of the core values my husband and I have always attempted to teach our kids (of whom we have five) is that ultimately, it only matters what God thinks.  We are not here to impress others but to please God. Face it. Our society is so peer oriented, so into what is politically correct, so moved by social norms and expectations that we can find ourselves worrying about what others are thinking about us rather than being concerned about what God thinks or requires. 

Guess what the Good News is, however.  God is impressed with you!  He designed you according to His very own special wishes, to fulfill a very special purpose and plan.  He likes you, and He is the only One about Whom you should be wondering, “What does He think of me or my decision?” God’s thoughts toward you are really what matter.  He specifically tells us in the Scripture not to worry about how others judge us.  “Therefore, do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.  These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ (Col. 2:16-17).” This Scripture tells us not to let others’ false humility (religious pride) or worldly ways (those who have “lost connection with the Head”) disqualify us for the prize. “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules?. . .These are destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings (Col. 2:18-22).” 

Do you see what God is saying?  Don’t be judged by worldly standards or derive your worth from what the world thinks of you.  “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Col. 3:2)” or philosophies.  “For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).”  It matters what God thinks, not what those around you think.  We are here to please Him, and when we do that, ultimately, we bless those around us.  Who cares if the world criticizes you or can’t see why you do some of the things you do. . .as long as you are trying to follow God.  This was often a hard concept to teach our children, especially those who tended more toward the “people pleasing” personality.  We often had to remind them that we do not judge our actions by those of others around us or do things just because that’s what everyone else is doing.  We look UP for our guidance and self-evaluation, not laterally at others.  We are not here to impress others, but to demonstrate the character of God.  Sometimes, in doing so, we have to walk alone and do not receive the approval of those around us.  Often times, we get just the opposite –criticism; but God blesses us when we pursue Him and His ways of doing things.  So many Scriptures remind us of this.  “Live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way,” continually “growing in the knowledge of God (Col 1:10).”  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord you are serving (Col. 3:23).”

One of our favorite Scriptures to teach our kids was 1 Tim. 4:12.  “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faithand in purity.”  This instructs us to be the opposite of a people pleaser.  It instructs us to be the trend setters.  God speaks to all of us, even our young children.  When we raise them in the Word, we give them the ability, the strength, and the insight to stand against peer judgement and pressure and to stand FOR God.

So, I guess I am writing this week to encourage those of you who may be going through a time of questioning why you are doing what you are doing or questioning whether it is really worth it to stand alone on your Godly principles, or those of you who are worrying about what those around you think of you.  Let God lift that burden off of your shoulders and your heart.  Please Him; continue to do things His way, and everything else will fall into place.  He will make sure of it.  He is in Heaven, with Jesus at His right hand, rooting for you.  He is “impressed” when you pursue His ways, and that is all that matters!

Keep “trending” for God,

Lisa Marie

If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life and desire to, pray this:  Dear God, I believe that Jesus is your Son, that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected for my redemption.  I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life.  I thank you for forgiving me and for filling me with Your Holy Spirit.  I thank You that I am Your child, that You are my Father, and that You have great things planned for me.  Amen.