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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Don't Rely On People

Joel Osteen - Don't Rely On People

Joel Osteen - Don't Rely On People
TOPICS: 15 Ways to Live Longer and Healthier, Self-esteem

It's great when people believe in us and cheer us on, make us feel valuable. We love when our spouse compliments us, a friend is there to give encouragement, a coworker stays late to help us on a project, God uses people to help move us into our destiny. But here's the key. You can't become so dependent on people that getting your worth and value from how they treat you. It's easy to become addicted to compliments, addicted to encouragement, addicted to others cheering you on. Now you rely on them to keep you feeling good about yourself, to always be there to validate you, to make you feel approved. They've become like a drug to you. They don't keep you fixed and meet your expectations, you get discouraged, feel inferior, work overtime to try to win their approval. The problem is you're trying to get from people what only God can give.

Your worth and value doesn't come from another person. Your worth comes from your Creator. If you rely on people, you'll be disappointed. People can let you down. People will be busy and not be there when you need them. Sometimes when people even turn on you. In the scripture, Peter was Jesus' close friend. They were with each other day and night, but when Jesus needed Peter the most, when he was on trial and about to be crucified, Peter denied that he even knew Christ. Jesus could have been upset. God, I don't understand it. Why wasn't he here for me? He could have let it cause him to miss his destiny, but he didn't. Quit relying on people what they do or don't do doesn't determine your worth. What they give you or don't give you cannot stop your purpose. God breathe life into you. He's crowned you with his favor.

Quit waiting for people to approve you and start recognizing that you've already been approved by God. People may not encourage you, but you can encourage yourself with what God says about you. You can remind yourself, I'm a child of the Most High God. I'm wearing a crown of favor. I'm one of a kind, a masterpiece. You'll have better relationships if you'll start finding your validation in what God says rather than what people say. If you're always depending on somebody else for approval, you'll become needy, a burden, always wanting somebody else to give you a validation. Can I tell you that your friends have enough problems of their own? Your family members have enough issues that they're dealing with to not have to come home and have to encourage you for three hours.

That's not only hurting you, but it's unfair to the people God put in your life. They're not responsible for your happiness. They're not responsible to keep you cheered up. Don't put that extra pressure on them. Learn to receive your value from your Heavenly Father. If you're basing your self-worth upon what people give you, then if they change their mind, if they stop doing it, you'll feel devalued. But when you go to God for it, nobody can take it away. It's not dependent on how someone treats you, how they make you feel, how many compliments they give you. It's dependent on the fact that you're a child of Almighty God, that know he's already approved you. That's where you're getting your value.

Now, Joel, my parents didn't raise me right or I didn't have a good childhood. My spouse never compliments me. My boss doesn't give me the credit that I deserve. I say this respectfully, if you didn't get it, you didn't need it. They can't stop your destiny. What they say or don't say cannot override God's plan for your life. Shake off that negativity. The person that walked away, who did you wrong, who made hurtful comments. Shake off that that disrespect. Don't believe those lies that you're not talented enough, attractive enough, good enough. They don't determine your value. They can't lessen your self-worth. The only power that people have over you is the power that you give them. You can't rely on your spouse, your parents, your coach, your teacher to build you up, to keep you encouraged. They may mean well they couldn't love you more, but no person can meet all your needs. Only God can. If you're just looking to people to fill your love tank, eventually you're going to be resentful, bitter, start holding things against them. It'll eventually sour that relationship.

My father was raised in poverty on a cotton farm during the great depression, and he didn't have enough food, hardly any clothes. He received a limited education, very rough childhood. At the age of 17, my dad gave his life to Christ. He left the farm and went out and started ministry. Years later when he was in his forties, had become a successful minister, he started thinking about how he was raised and all the things he had to endure. He wondered why his parents didn't give him a better childhood, why he had to go without food and without a good education. All these negative memories filled his mind. He started thinking that wasn't right. They should have done better. They didn't give me what I needed. He got so stirred up about it, he was about to travel back to his parents' home and confront them, tell them what he thought, and just before my father was going to get in the car, he heard a voice inside saying, they did you wrong, didn't they? He said, yes, they sure did. The voice continued.

It wasn't fair, was it? They didn't give you what you needed. He answered, no, it wasn't fair. You're going to let them have it. Yes, I'm going to let them have it. Then the voice said, how do you think you would've done if you would've been in their shoes? How would you have done with no income, with the banks closing, nobody to buy the cotton, with six children to raise, and feed and no electricity, no washing machine, no modern day conveniences? That conversation changed my father's perspective. He realized that his parents did the best they could with what they had. They couldn't give them what they didn't have. Sometimes the reason people don't give us what we need is because they don't have it. Nobody gave it to them. They didn't see it modeled when they were growing up. If they weren't raised by parents who showed affection, who expressed feelings of love and approval, the problem is they don't have it to give, and if you're trying to get it from them, you're going to be frustrated. Why don't you let them off the hook and go to God for what they can't give you?

I found that I'm at my happiest and healthiest when I'm with people who inspire me to pursue God's best. My wife Victoria is an incredible voice of wisdom and encouragement in my life and in the lives of so many others. I wanted to sit down with her and discuss some of these strategies that have helped our church, our family, and our relationships grow stronger and healthier over the years.

Joel Osteen: We're talking about how important it is to not rely on people, but to get our approval from God. I think sometimes Victoria, especially the day we're living in, it's how many likes do I have and how many people are accepting me and approving me? But that's a never ending cycle. I think, man, the sooner we realize that our approval comes from our Heavenly Father, the more secure and the more free we're going to be. And I'll tell you this, when I first started ministering back in 1999, my personality is to want everybody to like me.

Victoria Osteen: Right.

Joel Osteen: I mean, I'm easygoing and I'll do anything for people, but as I started ministering, I started having a little bit of influence or notoriety, people started watching, people started coming against me. Maybe don't like the message. I'd never seen that before, and I had to come to a point where everybody is not going to like you. Everybody's not going to accept you. Everybody's not going to approve you, and that's okay. Jesus couldn't have reached his destiny with everybody liking him. I mean, you could say Judas was a part of God's plan to betray him. I mean, there were certain people that weren't supposed to like him, and I think that's a part of life. That's something that I had to learn, that Joel, it's okay if people don't like you, if they don't accept you. They're not determining my destiny. I had to do what I'm asking you to do is get my approval from my Heavenly Father and know that as I'm honoring God, I can feel good about myself and to not spend my time and energy trying to win people over that are never going to be for you. Some people, their intent on misunderstanding you, and if when you spend all that time and energy, that's time and energy that you need for your destiny, for your dreams to play with your children. We only have so much emotional energy each day, and I think sometimes we're using it on things that are not between us and our destiny, fighting battles that don't matter, trying to get people to like us that are probably never going to like us. Listen, if somebody's not for you, maybe they're not supposed to be for you. They're not going to keep you from your destiny. If you can learn to approve yourself and not get bitter, not get upset toward them. I think that's another key is don't be critical to the people that are critical towards you. That's a test you have to pass. You got to be the Joseph and say, you know what? I can forgive my brothers. They did me wrong, but I'm going to do them good anyway. When God can trust you with that, I believe he can take you higher and higher.

Victoria Osteen: Well, that's the key I think right there is knowing that you're doing the best you can do and then learning how to applaud yourself. You know what I mean? Maybe you didn't do everything you wanted to do that day, but what did you do right? What did you do good? Maybe you didn't get all 10 things checked off your list, but did you get five things checked off your list? And I think it's a matter of how you start viewing yourself. And so when you start feeling good about yourself, then when other people don't like you, you can say well, I did the best I could. And you've got to have a way to not take on their disapproval because it's easy to take on, especially if it's a parent that's disapproving you, or a spouse that's disapproving you, and you feel that. You have to learn how to just shake that off and say, you know what? I've done the best I can do today and I'm going to applaud myself for doing so. And I think that there's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with keeping yourself built up. The Bible says keep yourself built up in the most holy place. And when you know that you're pleasing God and you know you're doing the best you can do, I mean that's all you can do. So you're right though. I think there's an approval addiction because of all the social media and the fact that people so easily can criticize that don't even know you, and I know that you had to learn that. In fact, I think one of the biggest questions that people ask you is how do you handle criticism? And you always just say, what? I don't read it. I don't go there.

Joel Osteen: I don't pay any attention to it. Life's too short to let what other people think about you keep you from enjoying each day because there's always going to be somebody that doesn't understand, somebody that doesn't approve. And so again, back to not relying on people is getting your value from God, being your best, of course, taking advice, and we are open to constructive criticism and things like that, but just think there's a lot of this today where we're trying to get our value from people, and that means that I've got to please people. I've got to do what they want me to do. I've got to keep somebody else happy or I'm relying on somebody else to keep me happy. And those are not healthy attributes to live a victorious life. You're responsible for your own happiness and you're not responsible for anybody else's happiness. Yes, we're supposed to be good to people. Yes, love your wife and love your kids, but some people don't want to be happy. And if you take on that false sense of responsibility, then the one person that's probably not going to be happy is yourself. So you have to take it all in balance. I know to be good to people and be loving and kind, but I think sometimes we're relying on people too much to get our approval, to get our encouragement.

Victoria Osteen: Or just please people. You think about it, some people just want to be people pleasers. They'll say yes to everything, and that's a very stressful way to live because they've over obligated themselves and then they start feeling, oh, I have to do this. Then you start resenting what you're doing. So yeah, to just be always trying to obligate yourself to make that person happy or not disappoint them or feel like that you can do it all. I think a lot of times that mothers even, they get, they think I've got to be that super mom, that one that can do it all, and I don't even think that's healthy for your kids because then you'll start resenting what you're doing and you won't do it with the joy and the love and the excitement that you should do it with. So I think when we start feeling that overwhelming feeling, those are some indicators that we may be overextending ourself or are we just trying to please other people?

Joel Osteen: I think too about not relying on people. Sometimes we rely on them because we feel like we are inadequate, that we have to have what they have, but you have to come back to God made you in his image. He's given you everything you need to fulfill your destiny, and yes, we get encouragement. We get things from people, but you can't live from this hey, I'm at a disadvantage. I'm lacking. You have to see yourself as equipped, empowered, anointed to fulfill your destiny. If somebody doesn't want to approve you, they don't want to be a part of your life, fine, treat 'em with respect, but you have to know this. You don't need them to become who God's created you to be.

I've learned the higher God takes you, the more disapproval, the more opposition, the more critics you'll have. If you're basing your worth and value on how people are treating you or how much they're cheering you on and you're trying to keep them happy, you'll never become everything God created you to be. In those early years of ministry, if I heard one negative comment, it would ruin my whole Sunday. I'd go home discouraged thinking that I wasn't good enough, but now I base my approval and my self-worth on what God says about me, on pleasing him. Rather than focusing on the battle and the naysayers, I focus on what he says about me and the people he's brought across my path to encourage and support me.

Judges chapter six. After the Midianites joined forces with two other armies, they crossed the Jordan river and were about to attack the Israelites. When Gideon sent messengers out together, men for war, 32,000 Israeli warriors showed up ready to fight. Gideon was feeling good. He had an army that he felt was adequate to protect the people of Israel, but as they marched out toward the enemies, God said to them, Gideon, you have too many people with you. If you win this battle, the Israelites will think they did it in their own strength. God instructed him to tell everyone who was fearful and afraid that they could go home. 22,000 men turned around and left. He instantly lost two thirds of his army.

I'm sure Gideon gulped and thought, God, did you see what happened? God said, yes, Gideon, I saw it, but you still have too many people. God told Gideon to take the remaining 10,000 men down to the stream to get a drink and divide them into two groups. Every man who knelt down and drank with his mouth in the stream was put in one group. The second group was made up of men who cupped the water in their hands and lapped it up in their tongues like a dog. 9,700 men put their mouth in the stream. That was the group that was to go home. Only 300 men drank from their hands. His army went from 32,000 to 300. I can imagine that Gideon thought, God, I was confident with 32,000. I was a little worried with 10,000, but 300 men. This is impossible. God was saying, Gideon, you don't need everyone you think you need. You're depending on too many people. Gideon went out with those 300 men, just 1% of what he started with, and God supernaturally helped them defeat the armies that were much bigger and much better equipped.

In the same way, God is going to give you victories where the odds are totally against you. You think that door will open and that one person notices you. You can accomplish your goal if you just have the right people to support you, the right connection. You think you can overcome the obstacle if you have the strongest players, the best people on your legal team. But like with Gideon, God can do a lot with a little. Quit believing that you don't have what you need to get ahead. The opportunities, the relationships, the support, God will give you everything you need. If you'll quit putting your trust in people to make a way for you and put your trust in God, you will see victory in your future. God has seen everything that's happened in your life, the injustice, the bad breaks, the person who did you wrong, maybe your father or mother abandoned you, friend betrayed you, coworker turned on you. They may not be there anymore, but God himself promises to never leave you or forsake you.

It's time to stop seeing yourself as a victim and in Christ, rise up as a victor. If you'll go to God, he'll bring you out better. It's great when people meet our need. Believe in us, cheer us on, make us feel valuable. We love when our spouse compliments us. Our friend is there to give us encouragement. Our coworker stays late to help us on a project. God uses people to help us move us toward our destiny. But here's the key. You can't become so dependent on people that you're getting your worth and your value from how they treat you. Your worth doesn't come from another person. Your value comes from your Creator. So rest in that. Rest in the fact that God sees you. He knows you and he loves you. Today, hear him say and over you. You are my son, my daughter. You are loved, forgiven and chosen. You are valuable. You have a destiny for your life. You are approved by me.

An abundant life starts on the inside and works its way out. You should be your biggest encourager because your happy, healthy life can't happen without you. Here are some words to live by. Every day, I choose joy. God has me in the palm of his hand. I never have to worry. As a child of God, I am unoffendable and quick to forgive. I forgive because I am forgiven. As the scripture says:

I am strong in the Lord and the power of his might.

in all circumstances, I will bless the Lord, for this is the day he has made.

God is on the throne. He is ordering my steps. He is providing for my every need.

I can surrender my worries, my burdens, and all my cares into his hands.

I look forward to tomorrow, but embrace the present.

I have grace for today, and God will give me grace for tomorrow when tomorrow comes.

I'll fight for those who cannot fight for themselves because my God fights for me.

my rest comes from God. He is the one who restores my soul.

I am who God says I am, and I will reach my full God-given potential no matter what comes my way. I have everything I need to live an abundant life.

Are you frustrated because you don't think you have enough support? Have this new perspective, the greatest force in the universe is breathing in your direction right now. Are you discouraged because people are not giving you what they once did? It's because God is growing you up. Quit trying to get from people what only God can give. Go to him for your value, your self-worth, and your encouragement. If you'll start passing these tests like Gideon, not relying on people, you'll not only live more peaceful, more confident, more secure, but you're going to overcome obstacles that look insurmountable and accomplish dreams that seem impossible.
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