Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Happens When There Is No One Left To Impress?

"If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." - II Corinthians 11:30 (NIV)

We have a weakness. We like to impress. I don't mean your typical "check-out-how-clean-my-shoes-are" impress. I mean, we really like to impress and not just on a small scale. We have all been known to attempt to live beyond the means or resources that we currently have available.

Examples? Absolutely. See that picture? I designed it from scratch with nothing more than a "save picture as..." command on a google search. Then I cropped and finagled and added and fasted and prayed until I had, what I consider to be, a pretty snazzy, 30-minute discussion title logo. Impressed? No? Well, oddly enough, that doesn't really matter to me personally. I have deciphered that, for some strange reason, my desire to have and do things that are considered impressible drives me more than whether or not the product or service or item or idea I have that I want to be impressive is...impressive.

Another example. I play softball and every year I think I have to have new cleats, new pants, and about every 2 years, a new bat. Why? I really don't need those things. Last years cleats are fine, a few mud stains on softball pants only impose the idea that I'm a go-getter on the diamond (which I am) and any softball player knows that the more quality hits you can put on a bat, the better it hits. But I love for people to think that I'm top-notch in everything I do. Call it pride. Call it boastfulness. Call me a spoiled brat. All of those labels are probably true. So that's why I'm writing this therapeutic blog post.

I don't think there is anything wrong with having nice things. Where the problem comes in is when we purchase, say or do things simply to impress. This has always been my issue.

What Happens When There Is No One Left To Impress?

What happens when we graduate from high school and the peers that we always dressed to impress are gone and out of our lives for what usually ends up being forever?

What happens when we are too old or out of shape to play softball and all we have are the receipts from all the wasted transactions?

What happens when the social network du jour is played out (i.e. MySpace) and nobody even knows, much less cares, about the non-life changing feats we accomplished this week?

What happens when there is no one left to impress?

Its not just about enjoying the ride. Paul said that if he couldn't go without boasting, he would at most boast about the areas in his life where he fell short.

The moral of this story is this:

We waste so much useful time and needed finances on impressing our friends, our co-workers, and our congregations.

I think I should take Paul's advice and brag on the fact that my pride has caused me on many occasions to be grotesquely wasteful with valuable resources.


  1. “Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.” - Dale Carnegie

    I think if we spent less time and effort trying to impress others and more of it working at making ourselves happy from the inside out many of the issues we have as society would simply solve themselves. Pride and gluttony could be replaced in our hearts with compassion and respect for ourselves. Just a thought :-)

  2. I've been kind of calling myself out lately too. I think we all need to do that every so often to keep from falling into really troubled waters.

    I too am prideful. Great post!

  3. Thanks for the words brother. It hits deep within my soul for sure.

  4. Good word.

    I am trying to come to a point where the only opinion that matters to me is God's, but I am not there yet.

    I am trying to invest my resources in the Kingdom first, but sometimes it's last.