Pete Wilson is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, a committed church community that he and his wife, Brandi, planted in 2003. Empty Promises is Pete’s much anticipated second book. Pete earned his Bachelors degree in Communications from Western Kentucky University and attended seminary at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. He enjoys spending time with Brandi and their 3 boys, hunting, gardening and football.
Here’s a confession. Criticism often crushes me.
Why? Because I’m tempted to live for the approval of others instead of trusting Christ.
Following Christ with all your heart is tough. Sometimes God calls you…
to take risks
to stand up against things
to go against the flow
to do something remarkable.
But when you live for the approval of others you limit your life to following the herd. You see, most people feel safest when they’re in the middle of the herd. What happens when you break off to follow a God prompt, to take a risk, is the herd will criticize you until you fall back with the rest of the crowd. The approval addict is destined for a life of mediocrity because they always have to follow the herd.
I’m not a fan of criticism. I honestly think it’s just a cowardly form of self praise but it’s part of life. We’re surrounded by a lot of hurt people.
So we all have an important decision to make. Are we going to allow the voices of criticism to define us or the voice of the one who gave His very Son for our salvation.
Today I want you to live authentically. And by that I mean, the practice of letting go of who you think you should be in order to embrace who God’s calling you to be.
Listen, choosing to be “real” over being “liked” will not be the safest thing you do today, but it might be the most God honoring and rewarding.
Do you know why so few people live like this? It takes tremendous courage. You are constantly bombarded by a culture (sometimes even in the church) that is doing its best, day and night, to make you anybody but yourself. That’s why authenticity is the cry of all but the game of few. Letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are in Christ is one of the most courageous battles that we’ll ever fight.
It takes courage to be authentic because it takes courage to admit you’re not perfect.
It takes courage to be real about your weaknesses, knowing you will not live up to people’s expectations of who they think you should be.
It takes courage to break from the herd.
It takes courage to say “I love you” first.
It takes courage to try something when you don’t know if you’ll be successful at it.
It takes courage to create art.
It takes courage to ask for help.
Do you ever struggle with looking to the approval of others to give you what only God can give you?
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