A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

All people yearn to belong and to be known. In the quest for relationship and acceptance, people often seek to please, but who we are pleasing has eternal consequences. Let's look at some different kinds of "pleasers."

 

The People-Pleaser: Some people spend their whole lives trying to please other people. Consider the adult child of a very successful businessman who feels obligated to take over the family business. He may not have the temperament or the natural skills to follow in his father's footsteps, but he trudges on in an unfulfilled life out of a sense of duty and obligation.

 

Likewise, many Christians continually look at what others are doing to make sure that they personally measure up to others' expectations. When the apostle Paul was accused of people-pleasing, he made it clear how incompatible this life was for the Christian. He wrote, "If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10).

 

The Self-Pleaser: We have all watched highly successful businessmen or star athletes ruin their health and families in the process of trying to achieve personal goals. They become obsessed with fulfilling their own expectations or meeting their own needs.

 

Similarly, many Christians fall prey to serving the god of self. Paul warned in Romans 2:8: "But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger." Jesus calls us to a better way: "So do not worry, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:31-33).

 

It is easy to fall into the performance trap whether we are performing for others or ourselves. When we do this, we actually live a life of bondage. Instead of true liberty in Christ, we live like slaves.

 

Contrast a life lived in the performance trap to the life of another group of people—God-pleasers. They continually ask themselves, What does the Lord want me to do? What is the will of God? Is what I'm doing today glorifying Him or bringing glory to me? God-pleasers live their lives in total dependence on Him. They surrender themselves to Christ daily.

 

Are you caught in the performance trap or are you living a life of liberty in Christ?

 

Prayer: Father, help me to remember that I should be seeking to please You today, not others and not myself. Help me to be a God-pleaser. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:23-24).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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