The morning after my high school graduation I moved to Minneapolis, MN. Summer classes were set to begin at a Bible School one week later. I needed to find a job, get settled into the dorm, and enrolled in school as quickly as possible.
There was so much to learn. I felt like a sponge and soaked-up advice from nearly everyone I met. Some of the advice was good. Some…not so much.
I went to church one Sunday with a friend. As ushers passed a plate to receive the offering I reached into my wallet and pulled out a one-dollar bill. It wasn’t much, but it was what I had to give.
The friend noticed my small gift and quickly offered some advice. Reaching for my one-dollar bill, he showed me how to fold it so people couldn’t tell if I was giving one dollar or five dollars. “This looks a lot better if you fold it right.”
That was 47 years ago. I remembered it today as I reached to give a tip to a server. I didn’t chuckle to myself like sometimes happens with memories that surface. Instead, this memory kindled a spark of incredulity in my heart that has smoldered all day.
Jesus never told us to hide our brokenness. Claiming to be someone we aren’t may work for a moment, but the truth will always find a way to expose itself. It is a slippery slope and quickly becomes a great way to lose the trust of friends, family, and associates. Attempting to impress others should leave a hollow feeling when you know the truth.
Live, give, and speak authentically. Remember, our “Audience of One” knows our hearts and is not moved by our attempts to impress Him. Not at all.
Ric Shields – © 2020