It seems to have been born in me to perform before an audience. My mother loved to tell the story of one Easter when I was about three years old. I, like all the other Sunday School kids, had my Easter speech to say. Dressed in my frilly Easter dress – outfit complete with hat, gloves, lace socks, and white patent Mary Janes – I was ready for my big moment. As the pastor’s daughter, I somehow knew all eyes would be especially on me to see if I could get it right.
One kid before me stumbled over his words; another could hardly be heard. Yet another little girl just dissolved into tears. Then it was my turn. I recited my two-liner like a pro, without a mistake. The congregation applauded. “Hey,” my little brain must have thought, “I like that.” So I began to ad lib. I struck into a full chorus, choreography and all, of the Hokey Pokey. My mother was mortified but I was quite pleased with myself. I had stolen the show and my performance was the talk of that Easter Sunday.
But I wasn’t supposed to be the star of Easter Sunday.
As I read Isaiah 58:13-14, I shuddered to think of how many other times I had sought to allow my performance to overshadow the message I was assigned to deliver. Those verses say, “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (NKJ)
This truth is applicable to us, whether we’re in front of an audience, living before an unsaved husband, training children, or working in an office. How much of His message is overshadowed by our performance? When people walk away from an encounter with us, do they remember us, or do they remember Him? As the passage above states, we honor God by not doing our own ways, finding our own pleasure, nor speaking our own words.
Let Him be the star today.
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