“Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise”
I sat in my chair alone on Sunday morning at church while Caleb played with the worship team upfront. One of the songs we sang was this classic old hymn – Be Thou My Vision. The worship team at the site we go to at our church likes to change things up a bit, so we sang the standard hymn verses with a new, modern chorus. I love when they do that! The song was obviously coming to an end as the last verse came up on the screen, “Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise …”.
Something in my heart skipped a beat. Because instantly I knew, “Riches I DO heed AND man’s empty praise.” As a matter of fact, these recognitions about myself, + about us as human beings in general, have been on my mind a LOT lately. This idea of impressing others. And I KNOW I’ve been putting off this post for a long time because, let’s be honest, I don’t WANT to admit to these things! Especially in front of people who follow our blog!! I need to keep it together. I need to look kind + selfless + humble. But WHO am I trying to fool? Myself? You all? Pretending is NO way to live your life!! I’ve found, time + time again in my own life, that living in honesty + transparency reaps a reward that isn’t found anywhere else.
Living to IMPRESS you (yes, you reading this!), or those who I encounter in my daily life will simply NEVER be satisfying. It can never be my purpose – never. Oh, but how often I find myself living as though it IS my purpose!! I’m going to give an example to help explain this better:
Recently, we moved into our new condo + we absolutely love everything about it! The space, the location in town, having something that is ours, etc.! Also recently, I did a blog post about our dining space. This was the first space that we “finished” in our new home because we knew that when we have people over, we want to gather around the table with them. We LOVE hosting in our home + we LOVE sharing meals with friends, having authentic conversations with them, and/or playing Settlers of Catan (or Packers Monopoly) with them around our table : ) Deep down, my HONEST, genuine hope is that people would feel safe in our home; that they would feel SO welcome, that they would feel loved, + that many, many would gather around our table with us + share their lives with us (+ we share our lives with them). HOWEVER, while that is truly what I pray for this space, I’d be LYING to admit that I didn’t want to IMPRESS you with it. I’d be lying to say that I didn’t want people to comment about how beautiful it looked. I’d be lying to say that I didn’t want to buy more things to make it LOOK a certain way.
Do you see what I’m saying?
It’s a fine line, + of course, no one is perfect. But I know, I’ve EXPERIENCED, that living in a way where your SATISFACTION, your purpose, your JOY comes from riches + man’s praise … it will NEVER leaving you feeling the way you were hoping it would. Those thoughts will creep back in + you’ll always want something new. The praises will cease on social media, someone else will do something cool, + you’ll be craving that recognition again. It’s just our nature. Unfortunately.
It’s a DAILY reminder, but will you join me? In building OTHERS up. In living to make THEM look great. In encouraging + praising THEM. In GIVING to THEM more than you take for yourself. Gosh, I know I’m getting all deep here, but just think about it. At the end of your life, what do you want to have lived for? What do you want your legacy to be? One that was known for making your OWN name look great? Or one known for putting others first + one who was generous? I know my answer : ) Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise …