Sometime ago I planned to pierce my nose. After weeks of back and forth, I finally made up my mind to go through with it. About the day before my “appointment” to get the piercing, I pulled a silver stud, just the size of the nose ring I intended to buy, off one of my tops and stuck it on the right side of my nose.
I looked in the mirror, admired how cute it looked and decided to leave it there for however long it would stay on. As I walked around my house excited about finally getting my piercing done, I met my father sitting in the front yard. He looked at me, the nose ring in full view, and said, “what is that on your nose?” The look on his face made me glad to quickly pick the stud off my nose and say, “no, its fake.”
His facial expression then changed from shock to relief and he replied, “oh, because I know my daughter would never do that.” Little did my father know that his daughter did in fact plan to do “that” and he was the reason she didn’t. I didn’t think of piercing my nose or getting any other piercing ever again. It was enough that my father held me at such a high standard to think I knew better.
Now when I reflect on that day, two things come to mind: (1) that it was God who caused my father to be sitting in that spot to dissuade me from making a mistake and (2) the words my father spoke to me were God’s words to me also –“my daughter, you know better.”
There’s something about knowing someone expects more of you that makes you want to live up to their expectations. Even when you believe “this is all I’m capable of“, when someone tells you that you can be even better, you somehow find that extra push to go a step further.
I believe if many of us were aware of the expectations God has for us, we would be more determined to live up to it. There are places we would never go and things we would never dare do for the simple reason that God would not approve.
Did you know that God expects more from you?
It doesn’t matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past, you can begin to live up to His expectations by starting to make right choices and exercising sound judgment. He has set a standard for us to meet and He never requires something from us that He didn’t equip us to accomplish.
Ephesians 5:1 tells us to “be imitators of God, as beloved children.” which means we must follow God’s example and do what He shows us. God has given us a fine example of what He approves of in the character of Jesus Christ. WWJD (What would Jesus Do?) should not just be an acronym worn on pins, bracelets and t-shirts, but a measure of God’s expectations of us, such as reverence, obedience, humility, faith, love and so on.
Our actions can always meet God’s approval if we have a desire to meet His expectations.
What are your plans today? Are you thinking of getting another piercing? Ask yourself, Would God approve? Your friends are all excited about your new tattoo but would God approve? You’ve adopted a habit of smoking and drinking. Would God approve? You never miss a session. Would God approve?
God has some great expectations of you. It doesn’t matter what you have done, where you have been or what others think of you. God says you are a man/woman of integrity and He holds you in high regard just as He does Jesus. He believes you can do better and it is up to you to confirm what God already knows. You can be who He says you are.
Though the morals of our society are rapidly deteriorating, there’s no mistake about what is wrong and what is right. The question that gives clarity to any blurred line or grey area is this – would God approve?. If the answer is “no”, then remember that He has a higher expectation of you and He is saying to you, “my child, you know better.”
[photo credit: http://www.jesuspeoplemiami.org]