New years rarely come in gently, do they?
Like toddlers in a toy-store they charge in, carrying resolutions and dreams bigger than their britches.
Fresh beginnings, inspiring and heavy with promise—but often heavy, too, with fear.
Fear of failure, of inadequacy, of not being enough for the dreams we’ve dared to wish upon a newborn year.
So much weight on the frail shoulders of a young year.
In 2018, why not add one simple resolution to the list—one that offers freedom rather than burden.
Of course, we don’t like to identify ourselves as having a need to impress, I mean, who has time for all that when we’re trying to live and love and serve—all while cramming 30 hours into 24?
But, when we break it down to its small beginnings—how often do we entertain thoughts of what others think of us? Tweet This
Which, by the way, is quite different from how others think of us. Of course we care to be seen as physically and spiritually clean—teeth sparkling, clothes matching, grace flowing.
But, somewhere along the way, it can move beyond that. Without realizing it, we can become so taken with the superficial ideals of what others think, we sometimes lose sight of what’s truly impressive.
And, hint: it’s not us.
I can think of many-a-word to describe the apostle Paul, but subtle isn’t one of them. Candidly, Paul reminds us that—our place is not to impress. (“Don’t try to impress others.” Phil 2:3, NLT)
Isn’t that just all kinds of freeing?
This year, what do you say we take Paul up on that challenge and give one another permission to be unimpressive?
Five Ways to Be (Un)impressive in 2018:
- Become impressed all over again with the wonder of who He is.
“Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all.” (I Chronicles 29:11, NIV)
- Remember our strength comes from God’s grace. (Hebrews 13:9, NLT)
Anything we’ll ever do—if it has eternal measure—will be accomplished by His power alone as it trickles through our meager hands.
- Be the server, not the served. (Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 13:16)
Just outside our doors are people who need to meet Heaven in us. People who need a smile and need to know they matter. May we not be so inward-focused we miss them.
- Work for eternal reward, not for temporary glory. (Philippians 3:14; John 3:30)
With the pace of this modern world, isn’t it so easy to look up and find ourselves at the center? Again. Oh, that we’d decrease so He might increase.
- Surround yourself with people who give you permission to be unimpressive.
Value friends who’ll tell you when you’re slipping into “impress” mode. And be that person for others. “Two people are better than one, for they can help each other succeed.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, NLT)
Happy New Year, friends. ♥
May God generously grace 2018 with holy opportunities to be unimpressive, and may He give us eyes to see them.
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Beautiful words, friend! Happy New Year!
Happy New Year back to you, my friend. ♥
This is my kind of start to a new year. Good words Brenda, thank you.
Thank you for being here, Debby. Hope you have a wonderful 2018! 🙂
Brenda, thank you for the list to help us shift us from “me to Thee.” It is easy to get caught up in us…the pull of our own desires. Beautiful outlook of life. ❤️
It is so easy to get caught up in us, isn’t it? Thank you for being such an encouragement to me, friend. Happy, happy new year! ♥
Naomi Fata says
Love this post. The words that I feel God laid on my heart for the new year already were that I must decrease so He can increase and this post fits so perfectly into that concept.
Seems like it’s a common sentiment right now, and such a great one for a bunch of us to have in common. 🙂 Hope you have a beautiful 2018 with Him, Naomi. ((hug))
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Great thoughts as we enter a new year. No, we are not the center of the world and even if the world is impressed, God looks upon the heart. Wonderful points to keep in mind as we grant ourselves the freedom to be unimpressive.
Blessings and Happy New Year,
Indeed, great point, friend. Thank you for sharing, Bev. Wishing you a healthy, peaceful new year, my friend. ♥
Happy New Year, Brenda! This is a great resolution and focus for the new year!
Happy New Year, Lesley! Hope 2018 is good to you. ((Hug))
Michele Morin says
Your words prompt a huge EXHALE from this tired body and soul. Thanks for this encouragement to press into the truth that God is already impressed with His creative work in me. I want to write and live for His glory.
Me too, friend. I want to write and live for His glory too. Thank you for being a constant encouragement to the writing community, Michele. Blessed by you. ♥
I love these wise words today, Brenda! And I give you permission to let me know if I’m ever slipping into “impress” mode. Happy new year, friend!
Awe…and I give you permission to do the same, my friend. Thank you for your generosity of spirit. Happy 2018, Kelly! ♥
Joanne Viola says
Brenda, beautifully encouraging. My one word for 2018 is”focus” and this post confirmed for me that I am to focus on Him – I must decrease and He must increase. May you have a happy & blessed new year!
Love your one-word, Joanne. Look forward to seeing how it impacts your year. Happy New Year, friend. ♥
Paris Renae says
Great post, in fact, once again God is working in the heart of His girls, I was just thinking the same thoughts this morning – losing self and finding God is the most freeing experience I can think of. Blessings…
Isn’t it though?! Freeing indeed. Love when God’s working the same message out in all His girls’ hearts. 🙂 Happy New Year, friend. ♥
Linda Stoll says
Unimpressive! Yay! Let’s hear it for exhaling, taking the social media pressure off ourselves, and turning our eyes on Him.
What an inspiring new year’s post, Brenda.
Amen, Linda. Exhaling with you, friend. Hope you’re having a wonderful new year! ♥
Gretchen Fleming says
YES!!! Fabulous post Brenda. So love this💕 All of this applied results in less pressure to perform. What a relief to not care anymore and let the others “win “. One of my most freeing moments as a recovering perfectionist was when I was around another perfectionist who provoked my tendencies even more than normal and inwardly I said to myself, “ yep, you can win. I’m out of this competition for being the best or having “more” than the next person. “
“Less pressure to perform.” Amen, Gretchen. So glad we don’t need to compete, but can just give Him all the “wins.” 🙂 Happy New Year, friend. ♥
Rachel Lee says
Yes and Amen, Brenda! This is exactly where God has me- He bids me to keep going lower. Lower, lower, lower still. It’s not about ME! What a truly freeing thought! I love this so much! My goal this year- to be unimpressive. 🙂
My goal too, Rachel — going lower, and lower, and lower with you, friend. It’s *so* all about Him! Thank you for being here and being an encouragement. Happy New Year! ♥
Lyli @lylidunbar.com says
Love this, Brenda. May 2018 be the year He impresses more of His heart and mind on us. HUGS
May it ever be so, friend. More of His heart and mind would surely make for the best 2018. Hugs back at ya, Lyli. Happy New Year, friend. ♥
Lisa notes says
Ooh, I love this encouragement, Brenda! It’s wonderful to be told NOT to be impressive. Such freedom in that. The world tells us quite the opposite and it’s too much work and invokes too much pride. But to let that go is liberating and God-honoring.
Oh the pride of getting caught up in the world’s definition of impressive. So true, my friend. Thanks for sharing your encouragement today. Happy New Year! ♥
Lisa/Syncopated Mama says
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you as well, Lisa. 🙂
Absolutely loved bumping into your post today, Brenda, and I’m so encouraged by your advice. Aaahh… the freedom to be unimpressive – love it.
Hi, Carlie. A pleasure to meet you! May God bless your 2018 with His presence and favor. ((hug))
Hello Brenda and Happy New Year! I love your share on how to be unimpressive! You are such an encourager – thankful for your inspirational words!
Happy New Year to you, too, friend. ♥
Happy New Year Brenda!! Blessings to you and your ministry in 2018 as you seek more of Jesus! ❤️ Misty
Prayers of blessings and favor over your ministry in 2018 too, Misty. So thankful to share in His ministry with you, friend. xoxo
Sue Donaldson says
You must have been reading over my shoulder/soul, Brenda. Just finished my Word of the Year post for next monday – which is (ta da) Incognito. I’ll link this one of yours soon with your permission.
Oooh, I love it when God puts His message on a bunch of hearts…so sweet to feel useful in His Kingdom’s work. ♥ Can’t wait to read what’s on your heart, friend. And, use away, whatever you’d like is yours for the taking. xoxo
Christy Mobley says
Brenda, this is excellent. It made me exhale by reminding me I don’t have to be all that (age is doing that as well). It’s not about us. 😳
Isn’t it so freeing to know it’s not about us?! Me too, friend. Exhaling in His reminder of that truth with you, Christy. Thank you for visiting and sharing today. ♥
Amy Jung says
I’m currently praying that the Lord would shift my desires to be truly more for His glory than my desires being met. Your post fits so well with prayer. Thanks!
I share your prayer, friend. May He bless your 2018 with “more of His glory.” ♥
Rebecca McLemore says
Wonderful reminder. We need more of this Biblical advice than the worldly advice which tells us it is all about us. SO much freedom in Scripture! Thank you Brenda for keeping true to the Word.
So much freedom in scripture, indeed! For which I’m thankful, because I seem to be constantly in need of reminders of that freedom. 🙂 Thanks for visiting and sharing today, friend. ♥
Maree Dee says
I love the thought of “being unimpressive.” I sometimes do care too much about what others think. “Become impressed all over again with the wonder of who He is” now that sounds like an amazing idea.
It’s an easy trap to fall into, isn’t it? I think we all feel that way at times. So grateful that His opinion is the only one we need concern ourselves with. Happy New Year, friend. ♥
Rebecca L Jones says
Love the verse, also the one about bragging on Jesus and not us. Happy New Year, my first link with you.
Welcome to #ChasingCommunity, Rebecca. So glad to have you with us. 🙂 I pray your new year is filled to overflowing with His goodness. Happy New Year!
Donna Reidland says
Great thoughts, Brenda, and something we need to think about all the time. As you pointed out, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of worrying about what others think of us in an inordinate way. Thanks for the reminder. Hope your new year is off to a good start!
I sure hope yours is too, friend. xoxo
Great ideas, Brenda! I love it!
Happy New Year! 😊
Happy New Year, Ruth! xoxo
Happy new year Brenda, thanks for the encouragement.
Anita Ojeda says
Great tips for being unimpressive! It IS freeing to know that I don’t have to impress anyone (I quit wearing makeup and dying my hair about 10 years ago). God loves me whether I wear make up or not–and he doesn’t give a hoot about my grey hair. The only thing he wants is my heart.
Karen Woodall says
All we need to do is really get a good understanding of who God is and that will take care of trying to be impressed with ourselves. In light Who He is, there is nothing remarkable about any one of us. But then here’s the real wonder… He loves us anyway! Hallelujah!
Tiffiney | Welcome Home Ministry says
Brenda, I absolutely LOVE this post! I read it at least 5 weeks ago and fell in love with it. I wish I could have written it…but you’ve nailed it! You’ve somehow managed to sum up what I would have said – but couldn’t. LOL! This will be my goal for 2018 and possibly beyond. I’m sharing!
Awe, thank you for your warmth and encouragement, Tiffany. Thanks for stopping by and reading today; lovely to connect. ((hug))