What Would You Look Like?

Hey, Darling Things! 

I am about to write one of the fastest posts of my life because it’s almost time for the ministry to close for the day and I don’t like for any of the support staff to feel like they have to stay around and wait for me. My man will also be ready for his wife to come home. I don’t have time to think about how I should say this or to proof it and rehash it for the next two hours. I’m just going to spit it out there because I can’t shake it from my mind and I feel it pressing on me in such a way that I’ve got to release it.

In the wonderful (and I really do mean wonderful) world of blogs and Twitter-follows, a pile-up can happen with the potential to profoundly hinder the Gospel. We can find ourselves suddenly feeling panicked, or confused, or left out, or just plain lame because our follow-ship of Christ doesn’t look like someone else’s that we admire. I know that’s a yawner. I mean, who doesn’t already know that can happen? Talk about an elementary grasp of the obvious. But stay with me here a second and hash this out a bit because this very thing happened to me yesterday. And I feel like if it happened to me – and I’ve been pretty convinced of the direction of my calling for years now – that it could happen to a lot of us. Especially those who haven’t quite gotten their footing yet. See if you relate:

I read a fabulous post by a young woman I greatly respect and I was moved and convicted by it but over the next few hours I fell into the (self-induced!) trap of thinking things like, “I should have taken that same stand. That’s what’s really important. We should have vastly downsized. We should have moved to the inner city. Not out to the country. I need to get rid of more stuff. ” (And I do, for crying out loud.)  “And I need to be more active globally.” And on and on and on. Now, listen to me carefully when I tell you that it was not her post. The post was tremendous, filled with the love of Jesus, and such a portrayal of the Gospel. The problem was what my mind then did with it.

I started thinking of all the people who are doing effectual things for the Kingdom, who I admire tremendously and often wish I were more like. For instance, I started thinking of some Bible professors who I follow who spend all of their work lives training up students in the Scriptures then watch them walk out into the world and take their places. Now, that’s huge. And I started thinking of my dear friends who do amazing and courageous work to fight the atrocities of human trafficking and I think, “Now, THAT’S enormous! What a reflection of the heart of God! Freedom!!! Does it get any bigger than that?? THAT’S what God’s prioritizing right now!” They impact and motivate me every day. And then I start thinking of people who’ve adopted numerous orphans and those who put their hearts at risk over and over as fabulous, loving foster parents. I love children! What could be more Christ-like than that??? And I have so many missionary friends who have left every worldly comfort for the Gospel of the living Lord Jesus Christ, sometimes at the daily risk of their lives. That is the Great Commission! The main thing Jesus sent us out to do!


But which cause do we take up? Where do we begin? Which one is God’s favorite?? Who’s God’s favorite??? Because I want to be like God’s favorite, don’t you? Yes, yes, Jesus is God’s favorite. And He is the one and only Person we should want to be just like. But, let’s admit it. Sometimes we can get a little confused in this lens we have to the world through one quick gleaming glance at our screen. The works of God taking place out there are astounding! And some of them we now have the privilege to give ear to every single day through Twitter. It’s fabulous. I absolutely love it. But it can also be bewildering as we try to figure out where we fit in all of that. And maybe we can’t see a fit at all.

Here’s what I want to throw at you to consider. This is what I felt God placed upon my heart as I wrestled with this last night.

What do you look like when you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength?

Because THAT person, Girlfriend, is who He’s looking for in you.

When we’re trying to hash out God’s priorities for us, that’s IT in a nutshell. “Teacher, which commandment is the most important of all?”

And that’s what He told them.

So, let me ask you this: when you are teeming with love for the Lord your God, who are you right then? What is your passion? What is it that you are bursting to do? That’s probably the stream of your calling. I’m not asking you who you see in front of you when you feel the most love for Jesus because that could be your pastor or your teacher or your worship leader. I’m asking you who is INSIDE OF YOU when you are flooded with the fiery love of Christ? Right there in that passion you’ll start discovering that purpose.

You following Christ will not always look the same as someone else following Christ. Why on earth would He have bothered to form you in your mother’s womb with your own DNA and life experience ahead just to copy what someone else you’re seeing is doing?

Who are you supposed to look like in your calling here on earth and in the way you follow Christ? You’re supposed to look like the version of you that loves Jesus with everything in you.

That’s the real you.

And that’s the road down which you will find what He put you on the planet to do. You don’t have to figure out what to surrender to. Just surrender your heart to Jesus. Every single ounce of it. Ask Him to give you a love for Him that surpasses anything in your human experience. A supernatural capacity. And ask Him for it every day until He does it and then ask Him to do it some more. If you’re a writer, your exploding love for Him will bring it out. If you’re a liberator, you will not be able to keep yourself from seeing to the oppressed. If you’re a teacher, you won’t be able to quit studying except to share what you learned with somebody. If you love Him with your whole heart and that whole heart bursts to sell everything and move to China, Girl, get your passport!

Who would you be if you loved Jesus with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength?

That’s what you’re meant to look like.

Let THAT person follow Him, and He, Child, will make you a fisher of men.

My fastest post ever. But I feel better.


I love you guys so much.


494 Responses to “What Would You Look Like?”

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  1. 1
    Pam Houston says:

    Awesome post! Awesome God…and may we all explode in the wonder of our shining, so unique, so diverse and so bright! We can change and change the world in the process. No one can do my purpose but me…and I am uniquely HIS. I was His, I AM His and I will be His through all eternity, so I’ve got something to talk about, someone to live for and someone who loves me forever! I am my beloved’s and He is mine…May the Daystar arise in all our lives for His glory is my prayer…
    Love you so in Him Beth,

  2. 2
    Erin Deaver says:

    well said… shortest response I’ve ever made, hugs Erin

  3. 3
    Ginny says:

    I can not tell you how important it was for me to hear just this. Just now. Just perfect. Thank you, Beth. Thank you God.

  4. 4
    Ibukun says:

    This will be the first time this millenium I’m leaving a comment on the blog but please be informed that I read all of your posts and Lindsee’s with a smile on my face. Oh Beth! I feel this exact way when I see people that I admire and I tell myself “Oh Ibukun you should put a little more Jesus in your tweets kinda like A or B” then I feel a little ashamed I’m not as “on fire for God as they are” but what I look like when I’m on fire for God loving Him with all of my strength, passion and might is singing songs of praise and worship to Him! And encouraging other people, Beth. THAT is what I would look like. Not caring how creased my face is because it is lifted to the throne of the One who gave Himself for me.

  5. 5
    Heather o says:

    Amen! I have really been convicted of this over the years. Jesus made us each unique and disciples us in different ways. I often feel like we fall into the trap of following man or thinking we have to have the same ministry passions/convictions as someone else OR we think we have to cram our convictions/passions down everyone else’s throat. I’m saying this as a guilty party. I just want to keep my eyes on Jesus and let him mold me into the person He wants me to be for His glory. Thanks for this post!

  6. 6
    Lisa Littrell says:

    Just what I needed today Beth! I often look how someone else worships Jesus and say ” I wish I looked like that” thanks for setting me straight today!
    Lisa Littrell

  7. 7
    theoldadam says:

    “Who would you be if you loved Jesus with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength?”

    Somebody else, that’s for sure.

    But…I’m stuck with me. Fully saint..(by faith)…and fully sinner (in fact).

    Thanks be to God that He loves real sinners. The kind that I know I am.

  8. 8
    Jennifer says:

    This is a wonderful post, and exactly what I needed to hear. As I’m teaching, blogging, being a wife, mother, VBS director and the list goes on and on… I sometimes forget who He wants me to be. I’m to worried about the quest to do and be everything, so that i don’t miss it. Whatever “IT” might be.
    Thanks for this…

  9. 9
    Ina says:

    This is fabulous! It is so easy to jump onto one band wagon or another these days. Or to feel guilty, defensive or fist pumping solidarity with any number of tweets or postings swirling around! Thank you for bringing us back to The Truth. “You, right there where you are, love Jesus with all your heart”.
    Perhaps in obscurity and without telling everyone about it! Let Him lead you and stop concerning yourself so much with how that looks in everyone else’s life. Thank you!!

  10. 10
    Dawn Rowden says:

    Wow Beth, this is such an awesome word. I have three very dear church sisters and all of us care deeply for the others. God uses all four of us in such different ways. These woman are so in love with God and each of them try so hard to answer his call on their lives. It amazes us how often one of us(we all seem to take our turn) at thinking that we should be doing more of what the other three are doing. I’m excited to share your word with the other ladies. I believe it will help all of us to apply this to our lives. Thank you!!

  11. 11
    Andrea says:

    How many times do I need this reminder! Thank you. I know what I look like – mama to my babes and preschool teacher (even though that one is currently on hold as I hang out with our littlest mister for his first few years!). Some days I’d LOOOVE to be the one who adopts all those orphans, but um, my hubby has different thoughts about that. 😉 And thank you for being who you are called to be – you have mentored to me from afar for awhile now and I am so thankful for you!

  12. 12
    Lori says:

    What great insight. I have found my “mission work” in public schools. I feel God put me there to plant seeds and be compassionate to the kids who both do get that and don’t. I LOVE being a teacher because I get to be around kids, middle school, all day and be a fisherman at the same time. What a blessing. Loving kids and being a role model is how I love Jesus my Lord and savior. What a great way to show his love.

  13. 13
    Christy Pond says:

    Thank you so much for this, Beth! I fall into this trap so often and it is nothing but debilitating. In his book The Hole in the Gospel Rich Stearns says “Don’t let the fact that you can’t do everything keep you from doing anything,” but it’s so hard not to do that, to become paralyzed with hopelessness because we can’t possibly right all the wrongs and reach all the lost. Thank you so much for this encouraging and uplifting perspective!

  14. 14
    Linda Smith says:

    Thank you.

  15. 15

    Amen, Sister! My husband came home today with chocolates. We have been trying to cut out sweets for a while now. He said, “For Lent, we are giving up giving up chocolate.” Ha! I thought that might make you smile. He was teasing, of course! But it made me smile!

    • 15.1
      Sharon J says:

      LOL thank you!

    • 15.2

      And sweet Beth, this reminds me of the first time I went thru your Bible study … back in 1996/97 … I said to myself, “I want to love God the way that Beth does.” And I can’t count how many times I’ve said, “Beth’s love for God is contagious!” Keep doing the thing.

  16. 16
    maryanne says:

    This is the question i ask myself daily
    Who am i. What is my calling. What is meant for me to do? Sometimes i thought it was just raise good children with integrity.i have looked around to find it. Im supposed to look within. Its hard.

  17. 17
    Jean says:

    Thank you! I so needed those words today! Thanks for writing fast and following God’s pressing hand!

  18. 18
    Midge Edmond says:

    So good! I was letting myself go there yesterday as well!
    I really need that “V-8” slap! Thank you!!

  19. 19
    Lori says:

    Great ‘fast post’ and one I needed! Thank you so much Beth!

  20. 20
    Tami says:

    Speaking to my heart and quieting voices in my head sister.

  21. 21
    Kate Craig says:

    So Long Insecurity changed me forever. Thank you for ministering to this white American middle class girl.

  22. 22
    hannah stockledger says:

    Well I think about this very thing quite often .Fortunately I have many teachers , evangelists , and ministry leaders that I look up to and learn much from ,and often wonder where i fit in .That usually leads me to thinking that I don’t do enough . However ,as much as I need and respect these Godly and inspiring individuals ,I am most touched by the almost silent work for the Lord that gets most overlooked. Like the aides at the nusring homes who clean up after the sick and dying and then go home to nurture their own families after little or no recognition. I also think of the sweet senior ladied from the old country churches who meet faithfully every week to pray for the needs of loved ones etc. and their prayer journals speak volumes of answered prayers .The world is a vast place with huge areas to make a difference for the kingdom ,but our Lord sees even the smallest ,most humble servants , and there too can be our greatest work.

  23. 23

    “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11) Best post ever. Thank you Beth.

  24. 24
    Janey says:

    Well said!

  25. 25

    Oh how thankful I am for this! I just messaged a bible teacher I respect about this very issue yesterday trying to understand. Really trying to fight against a “new legalism” that is making way. I was listening to John 17 and reflecting on how often Jesus prays that we’d be “one”. Then I thought about all of the Christian authors/bloggers/teachers that make you feel guilty or wrong or less of a Christian for not doing church or discipleship their way. Why do we cut each other down when living out our faith looks so different? Is my friend who is a stay at home mom in the suburbs who loves her neighbors any less of a Christian than my stay at home mom friend who lives downtown? And when did all the critique and attack enter in?

    We all need each other. And we all need each other to be and look different to reach different people groups. I’m so thankful for this post. It’s so timely to my discouraged/confused heart!

  26. 26
    Ashley says:

    I love this so much! I’ve been thinking about this a lot, because of the people I read and follow and how different we all are. It’s tempting to think one is right and one is too extreme or that one isn’t extreme enough. But if we are Christ’s body, then there should be different expressions, reaching different kinds of people; all different parts functioning as they were fashioned. One body, many parts, same Spirit, same God. Different visions. When we have a dream in our hearts for ministry, I believe it’s because God put it there, not because we dreamed it and need Him to make it happen. He dreamed first and imparts to us…and He equips us and molds us and fashions every part to make it happen. The hardest part is to have the courage to walk it out. And you have impacted me so much, and others, equipping us to do the works we’ve been called to. That’s huge!

  27. 27

    Yes. A thousand times, yes. My heart sings with this post and the Spirit within me bears witness to it–Abba! Daddy! Let it be done according to Your Word, for I AM YOURS!

  28. 28
    Punky Tolson says:

    Beth, thank you so much for posting this. (I think I read the same post & had the same feelings.) I read yours just now as I’m on my way out the door to teach God’s word, which I dearly love, to a group of women I dearly love…for my Jesus, whom I dearly, deeply love…with all my heart. That’s when I most feel His pleasure. Thanks again… it really resonated with my heart. xo P

  29. 29
    Sarah S. says:

    Thank you, sweet Mama Beth, for this ever-so-timely reminder. The hormone-laden tears are rolling down my face. Satan and I have done BATTLE today about whether or not I actually have a purpose at all. Ugh. (Trying to see through the tears…). I actually KNOW my purpose. I know my calling. Thing is, I need some (MORE — blech) education/ college so that I can get to it. So I am currently doing a part-time job that I hate while taking a chemistry class I don’t understand which is taking me away from time caring for my family — the one thing I feel like I really know how to do. So… that was a rant/ gripe. I just need a reminder of how I feel/ felt to know I am called. To know there is purpose. To persevere. “If it was easy, everyone would do it.” Thank you for calling us to (our own, individual) arms.

    • 29.1
      Tracey Knight says:

      sarah, i get this. have been there w/ the school thing & about to jump back in again! so i’m putting your name on a sticky note & praying for your perseverance to finish one semester at a time. AND that in the meantime you’ll be loving Him w/ all your heart/soul/mind/strength right where you are at this season. a Holy Spirit infusion is the only way it’s possible. praying for that!

  30. 30
    Julie says:

    Thank you, thank you! My husband is a church planter, I read all these blogs and realize I’m not doing what those women are doing, and worse than that I’m not even feeling led to do it. It makes me question my ministry and how I serve. And then I get judgmental. It’s like a big ole spiral of sin!! Thank you for allowing me to see that their convictions don’t have to be my convictions. And that i can still be a Christian who is serving The Lord and helping start a new church.

  31. 31
    Sherrese Moore says:

    Thanks needed that. I have been chasing that rabbit a lot lately. OI just keep reminding myself it’s not my plans and desires that matter but His. I am just one of the vessels He uses. Must stay focused on Him and His word.

  32. 32
    Cheryl says:

    Thank you Beth. It’s so easy to listen to the devils’ lie that “we don’t measure up,” when we read some of the beautiful words posted by our sisters. Jesus is Who I want to emulate.

  33. 33
    Paula says:

    Thanks you for sharing. I have been struggling with some of these same thoughts. This confirms what has been in my heart too. Surrender all to Jesus and He will lead my steps.

  34. 34
    Aly Allen says:

    I just can’t believe you didn’t write this JUST for me. I had the same bewildering feeling this very morning, not specific to any one person, but just in general as I thought of all the wonderful (“famous”) people I follow on twitter, and how we can see what great cause they’re supporting or movement they’re starting or project they’re working on at the click of a button. how it can get pretty overwhelming wondering if what I’m doing is enough. wondering if what I WANT to do is even relevant. wondering and just feeling a little lost. it’s crazy how that happens. this fast-paced social media know-anything-and-everything-about-everyone is such a double edged sword! I was wrestling with all of this just this morning, asking God to bring some kind of clarity… and here it is: just love The Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, and it will look like whatever He has uniquely designed it to look like. how refreshing and how freeing. thank you Mrs Beth for always speaking Truth!

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Christine says:

    Oh, amen!! And amen again!! You have hit it straight on! Our discipleship group is working right now through the five-fold gifts. And while that’s not really where you were going with the post, so much of what you said applies to the discussion we had last night, the short version of which is, we all have a role to play and every role is important. God has equipped all of us differently according to His will for us and how he wants to use us to demonstrate his power in the kingdom. For us to play the comparison game sells our Father short and second guesses how HE wants to use us for his highest purpose! Only Christ had the full gifting of God, but it is our faith journey as disciples to grow into the fullness of Christ and to equip those among us to do the same. No room in that for comparisons! Praise God for your beautiful message today!!

  37. 37
    Kathleen says:

    After your Phoenix LPL event, the friend that went with me said she felt inadequate in her faith after listening to how passionate you are in your teaching. I pointed out the many ways that she has found her own individual ways of advancing the Kingdom and the impact she has on my spiritual life every single day. Your blog today is perfectly timed! Thanks, and feel better!!

  38. 38

    Beth… this is so simple yet so profound. I always struggle with this. I always see amazing things being done for the Lord and often feel bad cause I’m note really doing anything amazing… but the Lord has set me free with your words. Thank you! Fastest post ever…directly from the Lord to my heart!

  39. 39
    Emily Bankston says:

    Thanks so much for this quick post! I am currently on the bus with my 30 preteens that serve with at the church I serve in Shreveport. We are heading to Disney on a Spring break trip. This was a surprise for them after the hardwork they put in serving at their church yesterday. As I read your post I thought about them and the ministry that I offer the each week. I want so badly for them to live and breathe the gospel, that i get frustrated if they do not or if they seem to from another church. The church today seems to be such a competition and my heart longs for unity among the local churches!! Each one wants to be the best church, build the snazziest buildings and will do all it can to show off their programs, so that family will come to their church. Now I do believe this church should be inviting and welcoming to bring people in!!! So what if the church truly, loved the Lord with all their heart and their neighbors as themselves? How would church look then? My heart bursts with joy because it would truly be a resemblence of Jesus and his way of ministry. Church would not be a competition because we are going to where people are and their would be no barriers of fancy buildings or of who had the most members. What if FUMC Shreveport and other methodist churches had worship one Sunday at the homeless shelter? Joining with them instead of us wondering why they won’t come to us!

    This may not have made sense, but like you Beth when God speaks I must write what’s on my heart! Thanks for inspiration!

  40. 40
    Kristi says:

    That may have been a super-fast post, but it was powerful. I needed to read that. Thank you.

  41. 41
    Lynn says:

    Thank yo so much for these words today. My bruised soul needed to hear them right at this moment.

  42. 42
    SandyT/kc says:

    Thanks my friend…for inviting us/me to pour our hearts out to Him anew…to long to join Him as His willing harvest workers in His fields that are ripe/white with harvest…to long for, crave nothing more and to settle for nothing less….:)

  43. 43
    Marie says:

    This is something that I’ve been struggling with a lot lately, what my “place” or “role” is. But looking at it from this angle helps a little.

    When I am most passionate about Jesus, I look like Swirlygirl, the toilet-cleaning sidekick of Plungerman, two super-heroes who have been sharing the Gospel message with the kid’s class on Wednesday nights. When I am most passionate about Jesus, I am telling stories. His story. My story. Our story. Sometimes with an accent. Sometimes with a super-hero mask and a toilet brush. Sometimes on a page with footnotes.

    Stories are important to me. They make me think. They change my heart. I want to share the story of Jesus’ love and grace with everyone whose willing to listen.

  44. 44
    Kim Cosgrove says:

    Thank you so much for that. I needed to hear it.

  45. 45
    Lori Griffith says:

    This was amazing! This is was the first time I have read your blog! I just signed up for a twitter account and followed you and this was mentioned. I can’t tell you how much this touched me and really made me think. Thank you so much for doing exactly what God wants you to do!! 🙂

  46. 46
    Patcine says:

    Love this simple reminder. You are spot on! It’s so easy to get caught up in wanting to do more & be more like those we admire, but God made ME & YOU for a precise purpose. It’s not going to look like what ‘so & so’ is doing, and that is OKAY!
    God Bless & thanks for sharing your heart!

  47. 47
    Ashley Hale says:

    I too read a blog post yesterday and immediately felt so down. I’m a stay at home mommy of three and love what I do! Although, sometimes I read all these posts etc., about these woman doing amazing things for the Kingdom and feel like I am doing nothing. I know that my teaching my kids about Jesus Christ and leading them to Him is the most important thing I will ever do, but I read of these women doing that and so much more! It can be overwhelming at times. In the post yesterday it was about what our holidays looked like and how they should change. I agreed with the post but also felt like I needed to change once again to get it “right”. I’m so grateful you wrote this, because now I am feeling like it’s ok! I can make changes that fit my family and also not beat myself up at the same time. I needed this encouragement today, so thank you!! I am grateful for your sweet and motivating words.

  48. 48
    chaplain sue powell says:

    Oh, sister… after seeing your work, I often feel the same as you do when you watch your friends in ministry. It is so easy to compare as one decides that SHE IS NOT DOING ENOUGH! It is my biggest stronghold. We see so much as we work with others… I pray that God will use me as HE sees “fit” and not the way I THINK I should be used… this will bring a peaceful and contented feeling in my heart and soul. Accept who we are as we come available to HIS CHOOSING… That is really all we can do as the Titus Woman of God.
    Prayers to you, dear Beth, and all those whose love of Jesus makes us be authentic….
    sue powell

  49. 49
    Sherry says:

    thanks…and that’s all I got

  50. 50

    And I feel better too! One of your best, Beth.

    There’s been a shift in my soul in recent days; really, after a detour of a few years into other fancies (those things that pulled on me, tugged at me, thinned me and stretched me), I’ve come back around to one theme – one heart-stirring calling that makes me feel brand new, all over again.

    People. One on one time with God’s people. Whether a child in Sunday School or a cup of coffee with a friend or a prayer at the bedside of a dying loved one. People. Not pulpits. Not podiums. Not even my trustworthy pen.

    People. My daddy first showed me about lavishing God’s love on people – that every single encounter is an opportunity to exponentially increase the kingdom of God through love, acceptance, and hugs.

    If I could spend the rest of my days doing just that – loving people, yes, this would be enough. I would leave this earth a well-contented woman.

    So, let me start tonight by extending a hearty hug in your direction and telling you (again) just how much your calling has shaped mine.

    Blessings and peace~elaine

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