The desire to impress is something we’re probably all familiar with. Whether it be conversations, the way we dress, events we plan, girls we disciple, ministries we lead, Instagram posts, devotions we write, and the list goes on and on.
Striving for excellence is not a bad thing. When we pursue things with a lackluster attitude are we truly glorifying God in them? Working hard and giving our best efforts to the Lord are good things. But there is the temptation to shift our efforts toward impressing God.
When our efforts shift from glorifying God to impressing God we move into dangerous waters. This seemingly small change effects our beliefs about God and understanding of salvation. We begin to put these parameters on how and why God loves us. We start thinking things like, “If I do this better, God will be proud of me,” or, “If I pull this off, God will definitely reward me.”
This turns our salvation into one that is based on our works and God’s love for us into a reward system based on what we are capable of. Praise the Lord that is not how it works!
“but God shows his love for us in that while we are still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8
He loves us and delights in us in spite of our sin. His affections do not change based on our successes and failures. God’s love for us is founded in Himself (who is infinitely faithful and trustworthy) rather than us.
There is no reason for us to impress God because He already loves His children completely. We don’t even have the hope of being capable of impressing God. And that is a beautifully restful truth.
We can’t impress God because He is the one who created and gave us ability for everything we are capable of.
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:3
We have no hope of craftily constructing prayers and teachings that the Lord responds in, “Wow, how did she ever think to put those words together in that beautiful way. I could never do that.” Cool events we plan never lead God to thinik, “She is so creative in ways that have never even crossed my mind.”
What does cross His mind is delight in working through us. He receives praise when we work because of what He has created us to do. God gives us skills, talents, gifts, and ability to grow that we ultimately use for His name to be lifted high.
It’s an exhausting task to attempt to impress the one who already loves you. Rest in His love. Work because of His grace. Praise Him by using what He’s given you. - Becca