"Impressive!!!" — The word used in a magazine I was reading described the athletic prowess of a professional basketball player; also the word used by a friend to describe a business colleague. The athlete not yet out of his teens was described in effusive terms. The businessman was greatly admired for his business acumen. Both are admirable abilities.

So what impresses me? What impresses you? What is it that we admire and respect in people?

  • Clearly, in our modern culture money can be impressive. We read about and maybe even covet the 400 richest people listed in Forbes Magazine.
  • People possessing power attract the admiration of many. I would be the first to let you know if I had lunch with the President of the United States and his cabinet!
  • Status is yet another characteristic that attracts attention and sometimes even a "worship-like" response. Entertainers, sports figures and those in the media — seem to matter a lot to some people. Proper admiration for people and their abilities is certainly not wrong; being unduly impressed, making them our models can be dangerous.

Interestingly, people of character and spiritual maturity don't seem to receive the same notoriety. When was the last time you heard someone tell with enthusiasm about the wisdom of a grandmother or grandfather? Attributes of prayer, faith and love are not hot topics.

Even those who follow Jesus can be overly impressed with money, power or status. In Mark 9 the disciples argue over who would be the greatest — an issue of status had infiltrated the group. Jesus tells them that the last will be first and the first would be last — inferring that servanthood is to be desired. Just like the disciples, we easily can be diverted on our journeys by what impresses us.

Paul tells the Philippians to model Christ Jesus

". . .who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant. . ." (Philippians 2:5-7a)

Impressive??? Let's be impressive by imitating Jesus and holding Him in high esteem in our hearts. Now, that's impressive.


Sharing the journey with you,

Bob Snyder