“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance... The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” - 1 Samuel 16.7
Recently I had an odd encounter. After saying "Hi" and inquiring how an acquaintance was doing, their response was "Loving Jesus & changin' the world!" I laughed... and then the awkward silence set in. I heard someone else with a similar story (different person, same outcome) with the reply being "I'm living the dream - LIVING THE DREAM!" Again, it was followed by an awkward silence as, well, what does one say after something so cliche is given as a serious reply?
Sure, short punchy statements have their place (like Love God, Love People, Live Jesus!) but when you try to sound significant by distilling your existence in a single sentence, it just comes off flat. "Living the dream"... what dream? Whose dream? "Loving Jesus and changing the world"... how? For the better - I hope? There's a tendency to try to be this important, significant SOMEBODY by dressing yourself up or trying to sell people on this confident, self-assured image you want to project. For the record, God's not buying it - and probably not many people are either. While it is true that wearing one's insecurities on one's sleeve isn't particularly helpful either, there is definitely truth to the fact that God is looking for sincerity and authenticity. Who are you REALLY? Don't know? Unsure? Actually, most of us are in that same boat. But one thing is for sure: Trying to sell the world on your significance by a single cliche is a waste of time. Chasing people's favor and trying to appear powerful and popular is an empty enterprise.
The way up... is down. Humble yourself. Don't seek greatness. Hunger for holiness. Go after goodness. Cultivate Christlikeness. God looks at the heart. Give your attention to being more genuine and sincere rather than spouting soundbites - to pursuing what God says is worthwhile instead of buying into self-help's latest mantra. It'll payoff a lot more than trying to "live the dream".
Spark. Bonfire. Burn the trash. Keep the good.
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.