Focus on Pleasing God, Not People
by Rick Warren
“Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4b NLT, second edition).
God did not make you to be what somebody else wants you to be. God didn’t make you to be what your parents want you to be, what your girlfriend or boyfriend wants you to be, what your spouse wants you to be or your boss or your friends want you to be.
God made you to be you. If you’re going to become all you can be, you have to refuse to be defined by others.
Hebrews 11:24 says, “By faith, Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter” (NIV).
Moses had an identity crisis. He was born a Hebrew slave but raised as Egyptian royalty, the grandson of Pharaoh. When he grew up, he had two choices: He could pretend to be Pharaoh’s grandson for the rest of his life and live a life of luxury and fame and power.
Or he could admit who he really was: a Jew. If he did, his family would kick him out to live with slaves the rest of his life. He would be disgraced and humiliated and live a life of pain and drudgery.
Which would you choose?
Most people today are living lies. They’re trying to be people they’re not. But Moses refused to live a lie because he was a man of integrity. He insisted on being who God made him to be against all kinds of peer pressure.
Here’s my question for you: Who are you letting determine your identity?
Is it your friends and family? Some of you have parents that died years ago, but you’re still trying to live up to their vision for your life. Some of you are hanging on to what some ex-husband or wife said to you, and you’re trying to prove that person wrong. Some of you are trying to keep up with what social media and culture and the competition says you should be.
But the Bible says this: “Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4b NLT, second edition).
The first resolution you need to make is this: “I resolve that no more will I let other people press me into their mold. I’m going to be what God wants me to be. I’m going to do what God wants me to do, and I’m going to fulfill the plan that God has for my life, not somebody else’s plan for my life.”
Friends, that is real success. Real success in life is being exactly who you were created to be and nothing more.
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Talk It Over
Who or what is pressuring you to be something you are not and shape your identity?
Spend some time writing down who you are in Jesus Christ. How does he define your identity?
How can you discover who exactly God made you to be?