Daily Devotional – Dec 02, 2023

Daily Devotional – Dec 02, 2023
November 24, 2023 Lighthouse Network


Breath deeply as you give yourself to the Lord and recognize His presence with you. “I am Yours. And you are mine.”


Romans 12:2 (PHILLIPS)
Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.

Philippians 2:7
[Jesus] made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant.


The Coolidge Cat
Plymouth Notch, Vermont is a village of just over 500 people. It is relatively unremarkable except for being the birthplace of President Calvin Coolidge and the home of a little cheese factory run by the Coolidge family.

Yet it was a place for which Coolidge felt an enduring bond. It was natural then that shortly after being sworn in as president, Coolidge decided to share his new home with some friends from the community.

Shortly after the friends arrived, they were seated for dinner. Unsure of White House customs, they decided to gain clues by watching what the president did and imitate his actions. All went well until coffee was served. When it arrived, Coolidge reached for his saucer and poured a bit of coffee into it.

The guests followed suit. Then the president added sugar and cream to the saucer. So did the guests. The strategy of imitation took a sharp turn for the worse, however, when the president bent over and gently placed his saucer on the floor for the cat to drink!

It’s easy to understand why the president’s guests imitated him. Their insecurity led them to exactly what they wished to avoid – embarrassment. Not willing to admit that they didn’t know what to do, they took what seemed the path of least resistance and imitated others.

The White House event had few consequences aside from some red faces and some guests feeling foolish. But choosing our actions by what others will think others think can be incredibly destructive.

It can keep us in a constant state of anxiety. When what others think becomes center stage, we find ourselves always having to check and double-check to make sure that we conform.

It can also destroy the unique gifts and potential God has placed in us. Fear of ridicule or of being “different” can mean that what we can offer is squashed, and the blessings that God wants to give through us can never emerge. In such a case, others are robbed of what we have to offer, and we are left purposeless and without the joy, God intended for us.

Most concerning of all is that over-sensitivity to what others think can result in terrible sin and break the heart of God. Remember the apostle Peter who cowered before a slave girl and denied he knew Jesus?

In that case, Peter’s lack of integrity meant that he will always be known as one who turned his back on Jesus. (Have you ever wondered how many mornings Peter awoke to the sound of a rooster and remembered his betrayal?)

The pressure we feel to conform to others’ expectations may seem constant. Yet, for the Christians, there is an escape from the press of what others think. It is the knowledge that when all is said and done, the only approval that matters is the approval of my Heavenly Father.

Knowing that I am performing solely for an “audience of one” can bolster the quest to live with integrity. When I make pleasing Him my goal, not only do I avoid anxiety and sin, but I am truly free to become the self He created me to be. I can look forward to those words, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”


Questions to Consider

  1. When have I allowed others to “squeeze me” into their “own mold?”
  2. What damage has it done? In what ways am I now tempted to conform or to perform to others?


This song by Jim Cowen can be an affirmation of our commitment to seek God’s pleasure above all else. Say it as a prayer, taking its message to heart.

When It’s All Been Said and Done
When it’s all been said and done
There is just one thing that matters
Did I do my best to live for truth
Did I live my life for You

When it’s all been said and done
All my treasures will mean nothing
Only what I’ve done for love’s reward
Will stand the test of time

Lord Your mercy is so great
That You look beyond our weakness
And find purest gold in miry clay
Making sinners into saints

I will always sing Your praise
Here on earth and ever after
For You’ve shown me Heaven’s my true home
When it’s all been said and done
You’re my life when life is gone.

Rev. James R. Needham, PhD, MDiv

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