TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• A couple of weeks ago, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down with Oprah for a tell-all that has resulted in two+ straight weeks of headlines. Yes, I watched it. Yes, I’ve read the headlines. My personal opinion about the interview (mostly) aside — one key thing hit me this week as I read yet another story about the interview… in an article that was so “sensitively” titled, “Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Had Plan To Postpone Bombshell Interview if Prince Philip Died,” Gayle King said, “They wanted people to have some understanding about why they made the decision that they made and what they’ve been going through.”
Now, writing as a raging hypocrite since I just admitted that I watched it and follow the royal family — here’s my question: WHY? This is part of what has intrigued me about this interview. They said they wanted to step away from the public eye, but they moved to the paparazzi capital of the world. They said they wanted their privacy, but they went on national TV with Oprah Winfrey to air the family’s dirty laundry. I don’t get it.
And in the process of being kind of judgmental about their reasons — I realized how guilty I am of the same.
I, too, want people to understand my whys. I also want to explain myself. I want people to hear my perspective. I want my voice to be heard.
And very often — it’s precisely the opposite of what I need to do.
The truth is — our culture today (largely thanks to social media where we set up profiles entirely based on “me, me, me, and more me”) demands that we share opinions that no one else really cares about. We share everything from pictures of what we ate for dinner to our opinions of movies to our thoughts on who’s to blame for our messed up country. We finger point, yet we put our best image forward when it comes to ourselves. And amazingly, we’re convinced that if we bestow our opinions and feelings on the world, everything will be better.
Newsflash: It didn’t work for the Sussexes. And it doesn’t work for us.
As someone way wiser than me once said, “God gave us one mouth and two ears so we can listen more than we speak.”
What if we did that? What if we talked less and listened more? What if we stopped trying to be center of our own universe? What if, instead of telling everyone the things about me, me, me — we started focusing on He, He, He? And what if all the things we want to tell the world, we simply told Jesus?
Jesus told us to seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). I don’t have a kingdom. So any attempt to create one is a figment of my imagination. I need to focus on His.
Paul told the Colossians (and us) to set our minds on heavenly things, not earthly things (Colossians 3:2). My earthly things break and rust (Matthew 6:19), but my heavenly treasures will endure forever (Matthew 6:20).
Mankind (including my own stupid choices) will let me down (Micah 7:5-8), but the prophet Jeremiah reminds me that I will be blessed if I will trust in the Lord (Jeremiah 17:7). Plus, when my faith is weak, Hebrews 12:2 reminds me that Jesus is the author of my faith and He can replenish it. I just need to have the wisdom to ask for it — and according to James 1:5, God gives wisdom generously when I do.
When I take a step back and really look at all the ways I try to focus on me — I realize it’s all thanks to He.
I saw a meme this morning on Instagram that summed it up brilliantly: “Your heart beats 72 times a minute. Every time it beats, it does so with the permission of its Creator.”
When I consider that — I feel small and unworthy. There is nothing I can post on Facebook that screams “look at me!” that can compare to the gift I have been given — grace. Not because of anything I have done, but totally because of what Jesus has done (Ephesians 2:8-9). At the end of it all — I am the clay. He is the Potter. Not the other way around (Isaiah 64:8).
We may wonder about the reasons and whys of people’s choices…. We may feel compelled to share our own feelings and think that we need to explain ourselves to the world. And at times, yes — we need to. Certainly, we need to be bold to share the Gospel, but that’s not about us; that’s about Jesus. We need to share our testimony, but again, it’s not what we have done, but what He has done for us!
The challenge I have before me and that I’m sharing with you — are my (and your) personal reasons and whys showing the world more of you? Or more of Jesus?
Today, as you pray, thank God that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Thank Jesus for being the One to whom all glory is due. Thank Him for the promise that all those who have trusted in Him can spend eternity with Him in heaven. And acknowledge with gratitude that we will no longer need the sun to shine because we will have the Son, reflecting all of His heavenly glory for us to bask in His presence. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and make choices based on what brings Him honor and glory — no matter what anyone else thinks.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.