18 When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them. – 2 Cor. 10:18 NLT
We live in a world of almost total deception. We are taught that other people’s opinions of us are based on externals. To win friends and influence people, all men must have six-packs and all women must look like professional models. We must dress in the latest styles and wear the brand names or we will become outcasts in our society. Our self-worth has become based on popularity and what others think about us. If that is how we come to determine our self-worth, we are headed for a lifetime of misery and big disappointments. We need to be sure that we understand that the one Person we need to approve of us is Jesus. Jesus, the one who thought we were worthy of His death, is the one we need to impress. And we can only do that, if the internals are right. Our hearts and our mindsets must align with the Scriptures and not the latest fads.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
— Psalm 51:10-12 NIV
We can stress ourselves out everyday chasing the latest and greatest things that the world throws at us to be popular and we will end up worried, tired and unhappy. Or we can choose to live lifestyles that commend us to Jesus, put our feet on the Rock, rest in His arms and live a life filled with joy and peace.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said:“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. — Matt. 18:2-5 NLT
As adults, we can become like children in two different ways. We can make decisions based on our wants and feelings with no knowledge or concern of what the consequences might be. This happens when we want to exercise control or when we make decisions that are based on what we wantt and not what is good for ourselves and others. An example is not sharing with others as we should and beoming angry when we are asked to do so. Another example is being disobedient. This is being “childish”. The other way we can become like chiildren is to live our lives with the innocence of childhood, accepting others without question, being humble and being obedient to parents and authority figures. This happens when we base our decisions on knowledge and when we consider the outcome of our decisions. An example of this is to do what is best for the family and/or those around us regardless of what our desires and wants may be. The best example is that of Jesus and that is to love without conditions and without expecting anything in return. This is being “childlike” and that is the attitude that Jesus says we must have to enter the Kingdom of God. If we are childish, we seek to satisfy our wants and we seek the approval and praise of men. If we are childlike, we humble ourselves before God, do His work and seek His approval.
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. —- 1 John 3:17, 18 NLT