15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.”
Acts 14:15 (NIV)
A favorite line of mine is this wise word from Coach John Wooden: “Never mistake activity for achievement.“ It has a way of clarifying things for me.
Just because I’m in motion doesn’t necessarily mean my moves are meaningful, effective or productive. Sometimes motion can be wasted. Sometimes movement is unnecessary.
Sometimes priorities get lost and moves become misdirected. I need achievement way more than activity.
Today’s Scripture context is that of a city that had grown to worship deities they had created. Not unlike us, they became impressed and consumed by what they had made. Creation got great at worshiping itself.
Then a fearless pair of godly men, Paul and Barnabas, entered the scene. They stood up and called the people to a “good news” that transcended their accomplishments. They told people to turn from worthless things to a more worthwhile worship, to the true and living God.
Worshiping men and what they create is “worthless.” Creation should never worship itself. Glory to Him must not be stolen for ourselves.
Christ alone is worthy of worship. The Creator deserves highest praise. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Living for His glory is an achievement. Deflecting and reflecting glory is the aim. Everything else is worthless.
These are two turns God wants us to continually make:
The turn from worthless to worthwhile. The turn from me to Him.
Reflect: Are you worshiping anything above God, before God, instead of the true and living God? What life activity of yours may need to be classified as “worthless”? What needs to be elevated as “worthwhile,” and what needs to go?
When others “worship” you and your accomplishments, will you, like Paul and Barnabas, deflect the praise faithfully to Him?
A prayer to consider: LORD, turn my eyes from worthless things. Keep showing me what’s worth it, what’s worthwhile. Don’t let me worship otherwise. Don’t let me mistake activity for achievement.
As I climb the ladder of life, please help me lean on the right house. I want to reflect the glory, not steal it. I want any praise aimed at me rerouted to You, making You as famous as You really are.
For Your glory and my joy in You, Amen.