Dare to be Different

By Jasmine Perdue

I John 2:15, “Do not love the world or the things in this world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

We all know that the world’s standards of success are measured in passions, possessions, and positions. The nicer the house, car, boats, jobs, and income–the more admired you are. Outward beauty is extremely valued in our society. Everywhere we turn we are bombarded with the world’s pictures of success.

We see beautiful women on magazines, in movies, billboards, and feel like that is the standard we are to achieve. Which, by the way, how can you achieve those images when they are fake and airbrushed to perfection? We are pressured to go to college, graduate, and climb the corporate ladder. The more successful you are the more respected you will be.

Be honest though, how many people who spend their lives chasing their so called “dream jobs” are actually happy and fulfilled in life? I heard it said once,

“Everybody seeks to be famous and in the spotlight. Then when they do make it, they hide from the photographers and fans who are watching their every move. They got what they wanted and now they are miserable!”

They were looking for fame and acceptance and it left them unfulfilled and empty.

That is why so many stars turn to various relationships, drugs, and alcohol. They keep getting in deeper and deeper trying to find happiness.

We too spend so much time fantasizing and wishing we were anybody or anywhere other than who we are and where we are! You may be wishing you had a bigger house, a better paying job, were able to travel and go on amazing vacations or look like the actress in a movie. We waste so much time thinking, “I will just be happy when….” that we miss the wonderful blessings of today! We are constantly planning our future while missing out on the time we have now!

We are so busy doing what we want to do that we do not even consider what God wants us to do. The truth is our lives are not our own anyway. We have been bought at the price of the Lord’s very life, and we do not even bother asking Him what His plans are for us.

This world and our flesh scream “ME, ME, ME, I, I, I! What can I get for me? What can this relationship do for me? What can I buy with all this money I made?”

But you see, the Lord tells us in I John 2:15, “Do not love the world or the things in this world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Matthew 20:28, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

We do not follow Jesus’ example of serving because we are too busy trying to get served!

We want instant gratification! We want what we want when we want it!

We look anywhere and everywhere for happiness only to discover emptiness as we move on to the next thing!

What if God is standing right in front of you while you are grabbing at everything the world says will bring happiness and fulfillment and saying, “I can give you everything you ever dreamed of if you will just stop running in the wrong direction and let Me hold you!”

Until you stop running, stop searching, and stop exhausting yourself for acceptance and fulfillment you will never know the true peace and love that God desires to give you!

 God does not measure your success and value on what you can do, but on what He has already done!

 I Samuel 16:7b, “For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God does not care about your outward beauty and success in this world because beauty is fading and money can’t go with you when you die! He measures your success and value by His grace, the love you have for Him in your heart and your love for others! You see everything this world values is exactly opposite of what the Lord values!

What are you seeking after today? Where are you putting your treasures? Who are you seeking to impress? Whose approval do you so desperately desire? Where are your priorities?

Dare to be different! Shift your focus on things eternal! Don’t waste today wishing for momentary pleasures when you could invest today in eternal rewards!

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