My mom has always insisted that lipstick is a girl's best friend. Remember how I told you she reads a lot and is always telling the family what "they" say about this and that. Well, lipstick is one of those this and thats. According to the experts people pay more attention to what you're saying when your lips are carefully painted a pleasing and vibrant color. My mom wanted her 5th grade students to pay attention to her, so she always had on her lipstick. I want people to listen to me too, so I try to wear a little color on my lips.
Mom can swipe on a coat of dark rosy lipstick and have on no other make-up and, voila, she looks great. Me, not so much. I have noticed though that if I have the rest of my make-up on but no lipstick, something doesn't look quite right. Then when I put even just a little lipstick on, my eyes suddenly light up. Now how is that? How does lip color make your eyes pop? But it's true.
Well, now that I've spilled my make-up secrets and lost half of my readers, I'll get to the point of this post.
Ever on the prowl for the perfect shade of lipstick, I have way more tubes of the stuff than a girl should. A few years ago I was at one of those brunches we girls like to go to and I'd been admiring the cute little centerpiece someone had decorated the table with. It was one of those simple little things that you look at and say, "I could make that," but you never do.
At the end of the brunch, the hostess announced that everyone was supposed to look through their purses and pull out all of their lipsticks. You know where this is going don't you? Well, I pulled lipstick after lipstick after lipstick out of my purse. The women around me were amazed. And the sad thing is, I'd just cleaned my purse out so I really didn't have as many tubes as I sometimes do. But I handily had the most.
And then the hostess announced that whoever had the most tubes of lipstick at each table could take that cute little centerpiece home with them. My affinity for lipsticks had won me a dandy little springtime bouquet just in time for Easter!
Who'd have known that my mom's instructions to keep my lips painted could one day result in me winning not just the attention of those I'm speaking to, but a centerpiece to boot?
And that's how good advice works. When we take good advice and apply it diligently, the benefits are often multiplied beyond our expectations.
"You shall walk in all the way
which the Lord your God has commanded you,
that you may live, and
that it may be well with you, and
that you may prolong your days
in the land which you shall possess."
These are the words God gave Moses to pass on to His people just after giving them the 10 commandments. Notice that God left the benefits of obeying Him wide open. He simply said things would "be well with you" if they obeyed. In fact, He used that exact phrase 10 times in the book of Deuteronomy to describe the results of obeying His commands consistently.
Sometimes we forget that the consequences of our actions have a ripple effect. Not only does adultery, for instance, result in broken trust and a possible broken marriage, but it affects the children, the extended family, friendships, finances, integrity, etc. Ripple, ripple, ripple.
But it's not only our negative behavior that has far-reaching consequences. According to God's mandate here in Deuteronomy, our positive actions result in a plethora of positive consequences as well. In fact, just this past week I heard that a parent's behavior and way of "doing life" plays out in that parent's descendants' lives for an average of four generations. Amazingly (or not so amazingly) that sociological "finding" matches up with what God says in the Bible too! That means that your consistent wise choices can potentially cause things to "be well" for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even great-great-grandchildren!
My mom told me to wear lipstick and I generally do. For what it's worth, I'll pass that same advice down to my daughter (though her perfectly cherry Angelina Jolie lips don't really need any help!) and she'll probably be more likely to follow suit simply because she's seen me apply lipstick most every day of her life. The lipstick will come in handy with the stage career she is planning, but it might win her a door prize too if she's lucky. Still, I can't say life will necessarily "be well with her" just because she pauses to color her lips.
But the results of following God's directions in the Bible? Multitudinous! Life will definitely be well. Not always perfect, but well. And who knows just what that may mean in any given life? God's left the definition of a life gone well wide open for a reason. It may mean good health. It may mean long life. It may mean wonderful friendships, lots of travel, good food, peaceful sleep, precious memories, effective ministry, a godly heritage, or a blessed family life.
It may mean you do the right thing because you feel it's good advice and you end up getting way more than you bargained for...
PS - For those of you who've enjoyed my parenting posts and want to read more on that perilous topic, head over to my friend Shelly's
place today. She's posting her weekly Intentional Parenting
series each Monday. Good stuff!
Labels: Christian walk, discipleship, Perspective