After seeing a video of his stirring commencement speech, I decided to read one of his books, Lessons Learned from a Third Grade Dropout. In it, Dr. Rick Rigsby relates some of the simple, but impactful truths his father taught him.
Among them was one dealing with the popular temptation to be superficial. Instead, Mr. Rigsby challenged his children to become people of great depth, substance, and character. To drive this point home, Dr. Rigsby asked his readers these two questions:
- What is your bigger concern today – looking good, or being good?
- At which do your work harder – making an impression, or making an impact?
As Rigsby laments, “Ours is a visual world with citizens who delight in those who appear good or gifted or great. Thus, we find it pleasantly acceptable for morality to be replaced by materialism, principle by popularity, or character by convenience.”
I was challenged; for I live in the same world as everyone else. I’d prefer to be popular over unpopular; to have plenty over being in need; to have a life of convenience over turmoil, etc. Yet, in those longings, have I scrimped on giving attention to what lies beneath the surface? In my efforts to look good and make a good impression, have I ignored the quality of character that lies within?
There’s a reason we have “Facebook” and not “Heartbook” I suppose. But, I wonder what others would see if they could look below the surface and into our hearts? Would they see morality, principles, and character?
So, what’s your bigger concern – looking good, or being good? Making an impression, or making an impact? What’s your “Heartbook Status” today? –Dave
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
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