Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you’d done something great, but others didn’t seem to see the greatness? I know I sure have! For instance, I’d get a really cute haircut, and I’d run into someone who hadn’t yet seen my great new do. Naturally, I’d be standing a little taller, smiling a little bigger, and bracing myself for the barrage of compliments I was about to receive, only to hear “Oh, you got a hair cut. I liked it better the other way.” I’d walk off wanting to rip my former friend a new one; shoulders slumped, smile gone, bracing myself for the next person to tell me that my hair looked better before, or that they wished I’d not cut my hair off.
Something similar happened to my brother in law, Chris, last week. He’s a military man so he tries to keep himself in good shape. I certainly hadn’t noticed, but according to him, he’d slacked off on working out and developed a slight gut. He’d started working out again, and was feeling right proud of his accomplishments. I can just see him flexing in front of the bathroom mirror, tempted to post a shirtless selfie on Facebook. He gets dressed and heads to the doctor for a check up.
Chris sits on the table and the doc asks him to lie down. He starts feeling around on his stomach. If only I could type in a thick Indian accent this would be so much funnier! The doctor asks Chris if he worked out. Confidence immediately oozed from Chris’s pores. His mind was racing with confidence building thoughts. “This working out is definitely paying off! The doctor noticed from the first touch of my abs! I’m a stud! I bet he put his hand on my shoulder as I was laying down. I’m sure he noticed how firm they were! This doctor’s visit is turning out better than I’d thought! He could do a prostrate exam at this point and I wouldn’t care! He’s my new best friend!” Chris answered, “Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I do work out.” “Thanks for noticing!” He thought silently to himself. The doctor replied, “You need to do a little more.”
What was oozing from Chris’s pores quickly went from confidence to bitterness. “This doctor sucks!” He thought. “If he even thinks about doing a prostate exam, he’s going to feel just how hard I can use these muscles that I ‘need to work out a little more’!” He mumbled.
Chris, much like myself and the haircut incident, left that office feeling a little less appealing than before. Funny how just a few words can change our whole perspective on something, and how we allow others to dictate how we feel about ourselves; or at least I certainly have! I’m sure I’m not the only one.
How many times have I deflated someone with my words? How many times have I caused someone to walk away feeling ‘less than’?
Often times in the bible, God chose the least likely people to do the greatest things. He didn’t judge by outward appearances, and he didn’t choose the most educated, or the people who’d made no mistakes, or who had the best haircut or were in the best shape. No, often times He chose people that others might’ve thought to be quite the contrary! Why? So that they’d have to rely on Him to accomplish their goals and give Him the glory.
We’re not always going to have the best hair and the tightest abs. I can tell you right now that I’ll never have the tightest abs! In fact, I’ll be lucky if I ever have abS (plural)! This one ab I’m sporting is much easier to maintain! The haircut thing? I might could pull that off. But no matter if we have the best bodies, or the prettiest hair, or the fanciest clothes, or cars, or houses, God’s still going to use us if we let Him! Let’s start worrying more about doing God’s will than how we look. I think we’ll be much better off if we do!
Obey the Lord your God so that all these blessings will come and stay with you: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. Your children will be blessed, as well as your crops; your herds will be blessed with calves and your flocks with lambs. Your basket and your kitchen will be blessed.
You will be blessed when you come in and when you go out. Deuteronomy 28:2-6