Have you ever wondered what impresses God? I have. You know – impressed like we get impressed. Standing ovation, stop and take notice, a gasp of approval – that kind of impressed.
When I think about what society considers impressive, I get confused.
We scream and yell for athletes with great enthusiasm. We pay large amounts of money to hear certain people speak, sing or perform. Our pocketbook can be very telling about what impresses us. And so does our time and attention.
So where does God invest his time? What arrests his attention and causes him to gasp with approval.
At the end of each day I find myself introspecting. I look back at what I did that day and wonder. Was the God of the universe one bit impressed by me today? Did I do anything that caused him to stop and take notice?
I have an ordinary life. My days are filled with ordinary activities. Nothing I do warrants a standing ovation or autograph. How could I possibly ask my Heavenly Father to notice me, much less be impressed by me.
Public figures with exceptional gifts might have an easier time evaluating their day. The immediate feedback they receive from fans and followers might lead them to assume God was equally impressed with them.
The current traditional church messaging provides us with many ways to impress God.
My email inbox is filled with those suggestions almost daily. Just in case you don’t receive them, I’ll enlighten you.
- I can share my faith.
- I can be consistent about my biblical reading and studying habits.
- I can give my money to the poor or find a place to invest my time in service.
- Definitely I should behave morally, responsibly and with integrity.
I have to admit – I want to impress God. I want to make him gasp and take notice so I’m inclined to work on these and many other checklists.
Such standards and the current cultural behavior suggest a link between our performance and impressing God. But I wonder – does our performance really do that?
Personal gifts (or talents) are exactly that – gifts from God. Whether they’re used for him or not – they’re still his and nothing we’ve created by our own efforts. A singer was born with the ability to make pleasurable vocal sounds. It’s a gift. When God listens to a beautiful singer it must be like looking in a mirror – he sees himself. The gift came from him and is for him.
I recall a few times in the Bible that God seemed impressed. He stopped and took notice at the baptism and death of his Son. Another time he stood up for the martyrdom of his servant Stephen. He paused to notice as a sinful woman covered his feet in oil and tears. Apparently it’s in our laying down, he rises.
Whether our life is public or private, noteworthy or ordinary – it seems God places the highest value on our selfless moments – on sacred relinquishment.
What do you think?