FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


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Just For Looks

This weekend I laughed with a friend as we kicked back and listened to Jerry Clower, Justin Wilson and Jeff Foxworthy on Pandora.   Especially funny to us (because of an inside joke) was Foxworthy’s line about the towels in the bathroom being “just for looks.”

Now I know that my friends and colleagues who are reading this post are at this very moment exchanging some looks.    Upon reading  the names Clower, Wilson and Foxworthy, some are saying, “Who?” while others are saying, “What?”  Still others are rolling their eyes in disbelief that I was listening to these three.

Nevertheless, the towels in my bathrooms are “just for looks.”  They are white!  Bright white, actually.  Not touching them is one of the rules of my roost.  Now if a guest came and used one I wouldn’t get bent out of shape (much), but those closest to me and those who frequent my home the most know.  They KNOW.  The white towels are “just for looks.”

Jeff Foxworthy said this simply did not make sense to him – or any other man (that was the point of the joke – crazy rules women have).

It was a joke – a simple one liner, but it got me thinking.  About looks.  About the things we do “just for looks.”  Because others are watching.  Because we worry about what people will say.  1 Samuel 16:7(b) ESV says, “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

Focusing on looks is clearly a “mis-focus.”  While there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look nice or wanting to maintain a beautiful home, we must establish priorities and maintain balance.  Our priority should be to seek the things of God (Colossians 3:1-2) and maintain balance in life.  We maintain balance by making sure Jesus is the center of our lives – much like the hub is the center of a wheel and permits that wheel to roll in balance.

Our lives naturally have a hub.  For some it is family.  For others it is career.  Your hub might be pursuit of education and degrees or it may be the quest for money.  It may be appearances or looks.

Make Jesus the center of your life.  He will provide the stability, control, power and confidence you need.  Isn’t that, after all, what our obsession with “looks” is about?  The Scriptures tell us to “Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants.  Then all your other needs will be met as well (Matthew 6:33 NCV).

Yes, even the ones “just for looks.”

 

 

 

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In the Eyes of Passersby

As with most things in life, there is a “best” posture.  A posture for divers.  A posture for runners.  A poster for walkers.  Mine is surely not “the best.”  It’s kinda “slumpy” at times, especially in the third mile.

But I’ve noticed something interesting about myself and my walking; it happened just this morning, but I realized this was not the first time.  I even came to realize that it is something that happens with a degree of automaticity.

Let me try to paint a picture.

I was in my third mile.  It was hot; it’s always hot in July in North Carolina.  And it was humid; it’s always humid in July in North Carolina.  My clothes were beginning to droop as was my hair, my brow, my spirits and, yes, my posture.  Heading home there is a slight hill.  In my car I barely notice it; walking, it’s Mount Everest!  I was really thinking that I might not make it, and then it happened.

Someone drove past me.

I immediately straightened my back, picked up my pace and unfurled my brow. It’s as if I suddenly forgot how tired I was, how sweaty I was, how desperate I was to reach the shower and my air conditioned home. I instantly had a walker’s posture!

Isn’t that how we are at times – changing our posture, changing our “walk” when others are around to see? Here’s a news flash: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes…” (Hebrews 4:13a NLT) Add to this that “[p]eople judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT).

As Christians and believers, ours is to ALWAYS be a posture that reflects our LORD, not just when others pass us by. Joy Williams asked in her song by the same title, “Do they see Jesus in me?” That’s the “best” posture in our daily walk, one that reflects Jesus to others – His love, His mercy and His grace. He alone is “the one to whom we are accountable.” (Hebrews 4:13b NLT)

Listen:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwiF3HE4cQ8