I felt so convicted by this as I stuggle a lot with trying to fit in and caring about the impression I give off to others. And I'm not talking about hoping others will notice my attitude and love and recognize it for His praise. (Though that is a real hope of mine.) Rather, I concern myself with superficial stuff: what people think about how I dress, what I eat, how well manicured I am, etc. The ironic part is that I tend to most admire (and develop little girl crushes on) gals who have their very own style and swagger. My closest friends are very unique in their personal style and how they live their lives, and I think they're the bee's knees! Yet I have this goofy tendency to adopt whatever I like about someone else's style, exactly as I see it.
I'm reminded of a fitting quote, which Debby over at Inspired Design posted the other day:
"Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else. " ~ Judy Garland
Pastor Ted mentioned gossip as one of the ways we try to access the inner circles we seek. We desire to be "in the know," or we want to bring the goods when it comes to a juicy tidbit about someone else. Why do we do this? I frustrate myself, I tell ya! I am particularly bad about jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to hearing a grievance about/toward another. Rather than weigh my words, offer unbiased support, or even venture to present a gracious, alternative way to look at the situation, I get all up in arms. And about something I know nothing about, save for the one-sided story that has been shared with me! I fiercly love my friends and family, but that doesn't have to mean they are always right and that I should assume such.
I'm always thankful for reminders to check myself before I wreck myself, particularly when they come from a place of love and grace.