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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - Rehab for Approval Addicts - Part 3

Beth Moore - Rehab for Approval Addicts - Part 3

Beth Moore - Rehab for Approval Addicts - Part 3
TOPICS: Addiction, Self-esteem

So remember, we're getting some for-real rehab for approval addicts, and we're learning that it doesn't have to do with numbers. We could be as addicted to the approval of one person as someone else is to a full public of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, that it's all about whether or not we are in bondage to please, to get human approval from anyone more so than we want the approval of God. That is what we're after. And we talked about some of the reasons why and that some of the biggest wreckage in our life experiences have come from decisions we've made out of nothing but trying to get people's approval. And we're learning that if that's the way we're going to live, we really don't even know who we are. Because what we've done so far is we've just adapted and morphed into whatever we needed to be to either be accepted, be approved, or best of all in this culture, be applauded. And so in doing that, we have lost touch with who God is, what he can do, and what he has made us.

So, I want you to hear with me. I'm gonna have you tell me what points one and two were, then I want to pause for a moment and have you say one of our key verses with me, and then we will repeat point number three.

So, let me get you started. Number one is this, approval addiction makes us? It makes us untrue to God, self, and others. You and I are learning, and we're gonna see it further today, that when we're approval addicts, when we need to be accepted by people and we live to please others, and we live for acceptance and an applause and approval, that what we're doing is living a form of deception because we're not even acting out of who God really is and who we really are. So, it's a charade. And we're trying to get to the bottom of one of the concepts we said last night is, listen, who he really has made you to be exceeds anything you could come up with to pose. I hate to just sound so corny about this, but I mean you are your own best self filled with the Holy Spirit. You're a poor, and I'm a poor, imitation of anybody else. But as your own self filled with the Spirit of Christ, listen, that, that is a gift in your sphere of influence.

Number two is this, our task? Our task is to be true, not popular. Now, I've took that straight out of Eugene Peterson's translation of the New Testament in Luke 6:26. And I'm gonna bring it on the board because I want you to say it with me. "There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests. Look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular". Does that resonate with anybody? Listen, don't pay any attention to applause. People applaud all sorts of things. Your task is to be true.

Okay, number three, even the hardest core approval addict can be rehabilitated. We saw that in Paul because in the New Testament, he was the most hard-core approval addict. I mean, he was going through everything he could possibly do to get status as a Pharisee among people of faith to the point of having people arrested and standing there and giving approval over the death of Stephen, the very first martyr in Christ. So, keep that in mind. I want to tell y'all something as we go on to our next point. I was thinking about this this morning. I was remembering some years ago in a hotel room, I was in Dallas speaking. I think it was having a TV taping at that time. And I had brought with me some spray starch in an aerosol can because I had something that I knew it was gonna take more than steam for me to iron it. I was gonna need some stars. So, I had taken it with me. Well, when I opened it up to use it, I had out my ironing board and the iron in my hotel room. And when I took the starch out to use it, when I tipped it like that, it dropped a drop of rust. And I thought, ooh, that's gonna get on my outfit. I better clean that off.

So, I grabbed a Q-tip and I cleaned all around the tip of it and top of it and the little spout of it. Cleaned all around it, and then I put it in the trash can. Then I went ahead and I ironed my outfit, all went fine, except that I looked a little later in the trash can. And, you know, it looked like, to whoever might have been cleaning the room later, that someone had a woeful, woeful ear problem. And it was sort of that same color, you know, rust color and all. And I was like, whoa. I mean, that's kind of thing that you just go like whoa, they need to see the doctor. Anybody understand what I'm talking about? Do you know I had to go wrap it up in toilet paper, then I even stuck it in something. They would not have even known who was in there male, female, nothing. But lest they think, I was seeking the approval of someone I did not even know. Because when she was gonna be cleaning, or when he was gonna be cleaning out that trash can it was like, whoa, someone honestly needs to do a better job of cleaning their ears. Anybody talking to me this morning? Ridiculous things we do for approval.

Now remember, one of the most important points we've made so far is that in the process of renewing our minds, we're learning that it's almost impossible when we're in an addictive or compulsive mindset where we think about something all the time. Say, for instance, social media. "I wonder how my post is going," whatever it may be, just trying to please people in our family, trying to please people under our own roof, trying to make sure that we are worthy of respect at work, wherever it may be. What we're understanding is it's really hard to just go, "I'm never going to think that again. I'm just gonna stop thinking like this". Because we'll just keep thinking it because we're trying so hard not to think it. But if we think a new thought about an old thing, that is what begins to break it.

So, we are talking about trading off being people pleasers for what? Somebody tell me. We're gonna bless instead. We're gonna be people blessers, not people pleasers. People blessers, how can we bless them, not just set out to please them? Go with me now to 1 Thessalonians back to our original text. We're gonna see some specific words this time around. We launched with this and now let's sit on it for a little while. 1 Thessalonians chapter 2, I'll be reading 1 through 7 once again. "For you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our visit with you was not without result. On the contrary, after we had previously suffered and were treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition". Does anybody need to hear some kind of real release to still be able to joyfully and boldly, to be embolden in God, to share the gospel of God, in spite of great opposition? "For our exhortation didn't come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive. Instead, just as we have been," here is our keyword, "approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak," here we go, "not to please people, but rather God, who examines our hearts".

We're circling back to that. "For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives God is our witness and we didn't seek glory from people, either from you or from others. Although we could have been a burden as Christ's apostles, instead we were gentle among you, as a nurse nurtures her own children". I want you to stare at that with me. I want you to remember with me, then our passage in Galatians 1:10. Am I now seeking the approval of man or of God, or am I still trying to please man? For, if I was still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Well, keeping this in mind, I want you to look at 1 Thessalonians 2:4 at the word "approved". Instead, just as we've been approved by God, I'm gonna show you the basic lexical form of the word that is being translated here. So, it would have been inspired in the Greek language, and then we're gonna look at it in the English. So, the lexical form of the word, you would say it like this, "dokimazo, dokimazo". The word is "dokimazo," and it means to try, prove, discern, distinguish, approve. It has the notion of proving a thing, whether it is worthy or not. Metaphorically, to make a trial of, to put to proof, examine, and sometimes, and we'll see it in just a moment, by fire.

Now, I need you to listen very carefully for a moment so that we do not lose somebody or let somebody go off on a mental tangent of self-condemnation and fear. Listen carefully when I say that, as we go through this lesson, this is not about whether or not you are worthy of love. This is going to be talking about being worthy of our calling. And I cannot think of anything that could be more pertinent to what we're talking about when we're talking about God raising up warriors of the faith in this area, just walking worthy of our calling. And there are several passages where we're called to do that, walk worthy of our calling. So, this is not about being worthy of love, not about being worthy of value, not about being worthy of dignity. You are all of those things in Christ. You are all of those things because you have been created in the image of God.

The best way for you to understand, and for me to understand, what he means when he says, "Walking as one approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel," it means approved by proof. In other words, he has tested us and we proved genuine. You're gonna see this more as we go. Look with me in 1 Thessalonians 2:4 as it says, "Approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but rather God, who examines our hearts". And it says in the ESV and I think a couple of other translations, "Who tests our hearts," tests our hearts. Here's what I need you to see. Both the word "approved" and "tests" are forms of the same word you saw a moment ago, dokimazo, dakamazo. Both of them are coming from the same word. So, understand with me that testing has to do with approval, that we have proved genuine through a tough test.

Now, turn with me, you're in 1 Thessalonians, but turn with me deeper into the Scriptures to 1 Peter chapter 1, verse 3. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being guarded by God's power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time". Start really locking in at 6. "You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith". Proven character is being translated from a form of that exact same word dokimazo, dokimazo. Proven character, if you've got an ESV it says, "tested genuineness". If you've got an NIV it says, "proven genuineness". "Of your faith more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ".

I love this. "Though you have not seen him," this is so powerful, "you love him; though you do not see him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls". Let me pause here for a minute. Let me talk this through with you. Peter had seen him. Peter knew who he was. I want to remind you today, because somebody needs to know this, that our faith was based very much on fact. These disciples did not go to very, very painful deaths after much persecution because of what they hoped was true. They knew Jesus Christ was the Son of God, that he was crucified, dead, buried, raised from the dead, and had appeared to them and cooked them breakfast, for crying out loud. Anybody understand what I'm... he had eaten right in front of them. First John begins by saying, "We have touched him. We seen him with our own eyes. We've heard him with our own ears". So, Peter's so crazy about him he's going, "You have not seen him, but you love him". And he said, "You have inexpressible joy". No, we don't. He's going, "Sure you do".

If you had any idea what we have coming in him, who he really is what, he is capable of doing, the miracles he could perform. You have no idea what we're dealing with here. Yes, though you have not seen him, you love him, and you believe in him, and you rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy because you are receiving the goal of your faith. It's gorgeous. It's gorgeous. Now, I want you to see something with me because he says that us going through fiery trials when necessary, it doesn't imply in this particular segment of Scripture that we will never be out of them. But when we do go through fiery trials, when life is hot, scorching hot to us, he said, if it's necessary for a little while... I want somebody to just say out loud, "It's just a little while". Oh, say it one more time. "It's just a little while".

Now, look at one another and say, "Girl, it's just a little while". It's just a little while, just a little while, though we may have to suffer various trials, he says, "Such is proving the character of your faith". In other words, it is testing, it is proving you and approving you. God is giving you the chance to show who you really are and for your faith, to go from some theory out there or from the page of Scripture into your marrow, that it becomes who you are. Our fiery trials burn the fake out of us. And if we don't have something to burn the fake out of us, we will live all our lives posing. Who are you really? Because if you just live for the approval of others, you don't even know who you are yet. Who are you really? Because he said, listen, as much as you value. In that age and time, nothing was more valuable than gold, nothing, nothing. And he said, "I'm gonna tell you something. This is more valuable than gold, that it's tested by fire, even though it is passing away". He said, "I am testing you through those fiery trials so that you can come forth genuine".

Here's the beautiful part of it, I love this. He already knows how you're gonna test out. Of course, he does. But do you know, do you know, do you know you got the genuine article in there? Do you know? Because let me tell you something. He already knows. He already knows you've got what it takes through his Spirit and by his Word. He already knows. What happens is we get into fiery trials and, man, life heats up. And all of a sudden, listen, you sink or swim. And either, either you are going to truly activate your faith, or you are gonna be defeated in that season. I'mma tell you, I would go back and rewrite my life in so many ways. But here's what I do know. My life was hard enough often enough, and I do mean hard. I mean, if I told you some of my story, I'm not, I'm not kidding. I'm saying hard, hard. But you move all of that, and I don't know how much of him I would know.

I'm gonna tell you something. I made it because of Jesus. There's nothing, listen, I have a lot of doubts about other things in the world. I may come upon a Scripture then I think, scratch my head and go, I just do not know what that means and how that applies. But I tell you a place I have zero doubt. I know Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he saves sinners. I'm positive of that. I am positive Jesus Christ can completely transform a life and make you a person you have never been. I'm positive of that. I'm positive that he can get you through what you cannot endure. I'm positive of that. Because no imaginary friend could have changed me the way Jesus Christ has changed me. No one could have done this for me. No one could. I should have imploded long ago. I had such a personal death wish. Has anybody else had that where you just thought, "I just don't want to, I don't want to live, I don't want to live"?

I had that from the time I was a teenager because of my difficult childhood of being a victim of sexual abuse. I cannot tell you the destruction that has gone on in this head. I know Jesus Christ is real. I know he is the Savior of the world. I know that he is truly with me. And who was with me in my hotel room this morning is with us today and is with you when you go home. I am positive. I've got a lot of doubts about a lot of things, but I know the one whom I believe in. And I am persuaded that his is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. That I know for a fact. Now, I want you to remember that back in 1 Thessalonians it says that he'd been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. Remember that test is a form that dokimazo, tests, that tests, tests our hearts, tests our hearts. Keep that in mind.

And I want to talk you through for a moment. So, you're in 1 Peter. I think we're done with 1 Peter, but do not make me promise you that we are. But I want you to go to Acts 1, and I want to show you something. Acts 1, I want to show you verse 24. Let me give you a little bit of the context here. They are asking God. These are a Peter and the brothers and sisters that have come together. They realize that okay, Judas is gone. There was very much an emphasis on the number 12. And it must have also been just the will of God. This was the leadership of the Spirit, but that 12 was very important. And so now there were 11 because of Judas the betrayer. And so, they were praying through who would God have to be the twelfth one. It had to be someone who had been witness to the resurrected Lord. And they were praying through and it says in verse 24, so Acts 1:24. "Then they prayed, 'You, Lord, know everyone's hearts; show us which of these two you have chosen.'" You, Lord, know everyone's heart. You, Lord, know everyone's heart.

Tie this back to 1 Thessalonians chapter 2 when it says that he tests our hearts. He tests our hearts. He knows everyone's heart. This is the neatest word. I think about it so often. I think about it a lot in prayer, and we'll say it back to the Lord. The word that is "to know hearts" is a compound word in the Greek. So, it is a putting together of. Heart is kardia in the Greek. It starts, if you're picturing with a C, in the Greek transliteration, it would start with a K. And the rest of that word "ginosko" means to know, means to know. So, this word, it's all one word in the Greek and it's "kardiognostes," kardiognostes, kardiognostes, kardiognostes. And you know what it means? The heart knower, the heart knower, that our God is the heart knower. He knows the heart. He's testing the heart, that our heart's might prove genuine, that our faith would prove genuine. I will say this to you, do you trust God with your heart? Because this is what he's after.
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