Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

Seduction of Success…Part 3

Devotions this week based on the Message: “Counterfeit Gods: The Seduction of Success”

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(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Tim Keller entitled, Counterfeit Gods.

You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)

“What is _________ going to think?”

Unfortunately, I am guilty of asking this question far too often.

“If we do ________, will _________ not like it and leave?”

“What will ______ think, they have been here a long time.

Here’s the conundrum.  People matter.  Pleasing people matters.

But how much?

We live in an era of 5 star review opportunities.  An displeased customer can tarnish a business quickly.  Businesses that interact with people (which is virtually everyone) teach to “put the customer first” or “the customer is always right” mentality.

So decisions are made based on what the customer will think.

We also live in a world of performance expectations. Before an athlete ever competes, there is an expectation of how they will do.  They could come in second, but because the expectation was first, a second place finish is seen as failure.  Companies have earnings expectations that investors want to see if they will continue to invest.  Parents expect certain behavior, certain grades, certain way of life from their children.

Expectations and success isn’t always a bad thing.  Pleasing people isn’t always a bad thing…until it becomes the ultimate thing.

If we define success by how much so and so is pleased, achieving success will be elusive.  Someone is going to give a 1 or 2-star review.  Will that crush you?  Will a lower than expected performance review send you into an emotional tailspin?

If winning the approval of people is your ultimate definition of success, it is possible people pleasing has subconsciously become an idol.

Again, loving people and having people pleased with you or your service or product is not a bad thing, but when it becomes an ultimate thing, it is out of whack.

Consider 1 Corinthians 4:3-4: I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.

We play ultimately to an audience of one: The Lord.

Our simple question to ask is, “Will the Lord be pleased?”

The Lord is pleased as we do our best.  The Lord is pleased when we love people and seek to serve them the best way we know how.

The Lord is not pleased when we bend our morals to make someone happy.  The Lord is not pleased when we take on the pressure of everyone’s expectations and dismiss the Lord’s expectations.

The Lord is pleased when whatever we do is FIRST done to glorify him and then SECOND to add value to the people we serve.

We don’t have to carry others expectations of us.  We simply live under the love, expectations and grace of Jesus.

Remember, perfection is not the goal.  Jesus already gave you perfection.  Because of Jesus, the Lord is ‘well-pleased’ with you.

So let go of the pressure.  Live today knowing the Lord is pleased with you!


Apply: Note the pressure you feel from other people.  What happens when your focus shifts from primarily pleasing them, to first pleasing your heavenly father.  Hopefully the pressure goes away!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for taking the pressure off of me to be perfect and please everyone.  Help me to always remember you are well-pleased with me already because of the perfect performance in life and on the cross of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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