Stop Trying to Impress People

Reposted from November 2009

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In the Northeast, I am confronted, almost daily, with those who believe that just ‘being a good, moral person and not breaking any laws” is good enough.  Good enough ‘for what?’ you may ask.  I guess I’m not sure.  People are very tied up in status and impressions around here… especially in Fairfield County.  I really think that people believe that if they ‘keep their noses clean’  and ‘do good’ for the sake of doing good… that their moral life on this earth will be blessed (by something or someone) and that they will thrive.

I realize that I’m not talking about people who do evil here… or am I?

I heard a challenging sermon recently on the John 3:19-21 passage.

19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.   20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.   21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

At first glance, this passage is only talking about those who are filled with evil on this earth… murders, pedophiles, etc.  But, what I heard was that there are two types of people who this scripture refers to.  The word EVIL used in versus 19 and 20 come from two different Greek words.

  1. Poneayra – violates God’s word through wicked acts.  Acts, thoughts & lifestyles that harm others.
  2. Faula – rotten, spoiled, bad, useless, worthless acts.  Acts that are probably selfish and not serving others much less the Creator of the Universe.

I understand that the Greek term (Poneayra) was used for evil in verse 19 and that the Greek term (Faula) was used for evil in verse 20.  Listen to how that may change the meaning of this specific scripture for you.

19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were PONEAYRA (wicked).   20  Everyone who does  FAULA (worthless acts) hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.   21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

This makes much sense to me.

Think about all of those people you know who are busy doing good, but who do not need a savior… and in fact avoid all possible occasions of any meaningful conversation about Jesus or walking by faith.  Or what about those who claim to be Christ followers but spend all of their waking energy on their own agendas… growing the 401K, house renovations, etc., but spend no time growing their own faith, encouraging others in faith, or ensuring that their family members are growing in Christ.

I believe that Jesus said that there are 2 types of people in this specific scripture passage that separate themselves from Him:

  • Those who do bad things (v.19)
  • Those who do nothing good for Him (v.20)

In His eyes, they are both evil.

Even if you don’t physically abuse your child, but do not lead them to a Christ-centered life …  you are FAULA.

Even if you are the best friend ever, but do not pray for them… you are FAULA.

Even if you don’t mentally abuse your spouse, but also do not encourage and love them through Christ… you are FAULA.

Even if you go to Church every Sunday, but do not seek Christ fully every day of the week and strive to serve Him and His Kingdom… you are FAULA.

If you are doing nothing for eternity… you are FAULA.

Wow!  These are tough words.  Jesus asks us to give up our worthless endeavors and seek Him first in ALL that we do.

He is saying, ‘Stop trying to impress everyone!  Impact their lives instead… for Me.  The outcome is eternal.’

Lovin’ the Light… cause the Light first loved me!

Jeana

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