Friday, August 3, 2012
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I remember that time when our son got a new haircut and a pretty noticeably different hair style. Not something real radical, but it was different. Needless to say, he was a little unsure of how he looked the first day after he had the makeover. At least he was used to the old style; he knew how to feel about it. We tried to reassure him. We gave him our parent's opinion about how he looked, but of course, what does our opinion matter...right?
So, he went off to school looking for feedback, and he returned all smiles that afternoon. Yeah, well see, several girls - the right girls - had noticed and they had complimented him on his new hair style. It didn't matter what anybody else said, whether they liked it or not, he decided whose feedback really mattered to him. You know, that's actually something good to decide.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Only Feedback That Matters."
Now, there are a lot of choices more significant, of course, than a change of hair style. And we usually evaluate our decisions and our performance based on how well we please the audience that really matters to us. Right? My son wanted to make sure the girls liked his hair style; he decided what audience he needed to please. It's sort of like a boy who wants to know if his Dad likes what he did, or an athlete who has decided that above all else he just wants to please his coach. "What does the coach think of my performance?"
When you decide to follow Jesus Christ with your life, you've decided whom you want to please. You've said by following Christ, "I've decided my bottom line is this: 'Is Jesus happy with it?'" It's as if all the significant people in your life are sitting in this circle. Just imagine them in a room and they're waiting for you to make whatever life decision you're dealing with right now. Members of your family are there, maybe your pastor is there, some of your key friends, some coworkers, maybe your boss is there, or your teachers, a professor, and Jesus is in that circle.
And then you announce the choice you've made. Whose smile are you looking for? Whose smile lets you know you did the right thing? My son decided that the approval of certain girls would determine the rightness of his hair style choice. Well, the smile you should be looking for in that circle is the smile of Jesus.
So, how do you judge whether He's please or not? I mean, He isn't visibly there. Well, our word for today from the Word of God (you thought we'd never get there. We just did) - Colossians 3:15 says this, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." Now, the word rule there actually means be the umpire; be the deciding factor in your life. "...the peace of God." See, if God is smiling, He will show His pleasure by giving you this supernatural sense of His peace deep inside; this stubborn confidence; a poise that's there even if everyone else in the circle is frowning.
Oh, you may still have doubts, but when you're alone in His presence - it's just you and Him - you'll just know that you've done the right thing. That peace, that sense of rightness, okay-ness, will be there in the midst of the confusion. Live for that green light of God's peace. Believe that peace deep down in your soul. It will stand the test of the worst of storms.
Over and over in our family, when one or the other of us has been faced with a major life choice, we've given each other the advice that sometimes we tend to forget: "Go with the peace." After all, Jesus' smile expressed through the inner peace He gives you, is the only feedback that really matters.