Who Are You Trying To Impress?
Obviously you are not trying to impress God. If you were trying to impress God you would not covet the big house, big truck, and take the vacations you cannot afford, but you spent your money on these expensive things to impress your friends and family. If you were trying to impress God you would understand that, most of the time, when you are trying to impress man you are pulling yourself further and further away from God, by breaking His Ten Commandments.
In my opinion God is like your parents; you could never impress your parents and you will never be able to impress God. The reason for that is God expects you to follow His laws and commandments; we humans have to understand God wants to reward us for every good deed or for every commandment we keep. When I say God is like our parents, you could never or will never be able to impress your parents because they raised you a certain way and they know what you are capable of, because they taught you. You can never impress them, but you can surely make them proud when you do what is right. For example: many of you remember your days in grade school; you would get good grades and your parents would tell you they were proud of you. You would always wonder why your parents did not seem impressed or as happy as you were about your grades. The reason for your parents being unimpressed is the simple fact you did what they expected you to do. They were proud but not impressed you did what was expected.
“Many of us would frown upon the idea of worshiping the Devil; it is nevertheless true that if we live to gratify the “desires of the body and mind,” we are yielding to the “power of the prince of the air [Satan], the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2-3).
When you are a teenager you have many distractions! In between the obvious of trying to find yourself, you are also dealing with the problems most teens deal with, “impressing their peers.” You can look at the rate of accidents among a loaded car of teens and a teen riding alone. The car loaded with teenagers is at a greater risk of an accident, because of a teen wanting to impress his/her friends; so that teen decides to speed to impress his/her friends and they wreck the car, which ends in the death of their friends. All because he/she wants to make a so- called GOOD IMPRESSION. Many of the other stupid things teens try includes drugs, racing, sex, and many other life-threatening dares. Teens tend to fall away if that guidance is not there for them. For example: I was slowly allowing myself to slip away from the church by attending football games on the Sabbath, and I did not just attend football games because I received so much pleasure when I was at a football game; I wanted to impress my friends and not be the one missing out on all of the outings. As I mentioned, these problems are prominent in teens but there are some adults who spend their lives acting like teenagers always trying to impress others.
“Keeping up with the Joneses” is a popular American phrase for keeping up with or staying one step ahead of our neighbor every time he/she gets a new type of technology. You must always out do each other (your neighbor) when it comes to all these new technological gadgets. This phrase explains why, according to statistics, 44 percent of Americans are in severe debt and the average American has a debt of $12,000. All for the American dream, which brings people from all over the world to America. The thing many people forget when they try to keep up with the Joneses is that their pursuit of monetary goals could slowly pull them away from their Creator.
To get that monetary value you may have to perform some immoral acts, work on the Sabbath, and many other things. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2 NKJV). “Since through vanity, men want to believe what is popular at the moment, they will kid themselves and their associates into believing even religious and scientific theories that have no basis whatsoever in actual fact!” (Living Church of God, The Ten Commandments, p. 66). “Did you know that recent surveys have revealed that the financial troubles plaguing most families are not the result of low income? Rather, overextending a normally adequate income for luxuries and personal indulgence, and by the American habit of installment buying directly causes them! ‘Buy now and pay later,’ say the advertisements. But do you really need to buy this item now? And are you sure you will be able to ‘pay later’?” (Living Church of God, The Ten Commandments, p. 68).
“Through God’s Spirit in us, we must fight the fight of faith—put down the lustful human nature within us—and ultimately succeed in ‘bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 10:5)” (Living Church of God, The Ten Commandments, p. 70). The advertisements on television are so good, that they can have you saying you need something when it is truly a want. From our days in elementary school till the day we die, we are taught to compete with each other for social honors and material advancement. Today it is all about everybody being in a hurry to have a good time. Is that what life is about, having a good time or getting everything we can out of life? “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (James 4:1-2 NKJV). Our generation needs to beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15 NKJV).
Eating that big steak, driving a fancy car, or vacationing in the Bahamas does not make you happy. We have to understand that happiness is a state of mind. There are many rich people in this world with all the things we covet, but some of those people are not happy when they do not go about life and the so-called “pursuit of happiness” in a godly way. “[C]ovetousness…is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). When you covet these material things you give your energy, time, and money, and you become slaves to these material things. Then it becomes a burden to pay your tithes to your Creator. Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”