With the explosion of media, it is so easy to learn how someone else is doing, how someone else is doing it, how well they are doing it! I guess in the past we had books and we could read either testimonies or how-to type of books, but with the internet the availability of someone else’s story is so much greater. So whose story do we listen to?
Just the other day I was reading some blogs and it left me with the feeling – “I want to be like that”. These feelings were half motivating, and to be honest, half overwhelming and therefore unmotivating. When I shared with Peter some of what I had been reading, and my response to that his one and only comment was “don’t we strive enough!”
I didn’t think much more about this exchange, probably because the motivation feeling was stronger than the overwhelming. But today I started to think some more. Whose standard am I going to live my life by? By what I read online? Or by what I read in the scriptures?
At first glance it is easy to think that the Bible doesn’t talk about how to keep house, how to dress and how to show hospitality. But when I dig deeper it does really. It doesn’t tell us the specifics but there are guidelines there. The bottom line for every guideline for life that the Bible instructs us with is the heart. Our heart for God and our heart for others.
So as I read a blog about a family who is following God, their house looks amazing, their children are neat and clean, their house is fresh and welcoming – what do I go away with? An encouragement to press into God, and to serve him and his people? Or a motivation to have my house sparkling and my children pristine? To be fair to the bloggers out there I am 100% convinced their heart is to reflect God in their life (and I know this because this is the reason I blog myself), but it is my choice to see the externals in their life (and judge myself for not being of the same standard) or I can see God in their life, and press into Him more myself.
Peter was right – we should not strive. As I go to God with my concern that maybe my heart for my home has slipped, or that I have neglected areas in my children God gives me grace to go forward – that is, He gives me strength to change. In listening to God’s story I can grow. It isn’t that we shouldn’t listen to other people’s stories, they are there for our edification, as long as we read them knowing God’s story too.