Solutions June 2016 - Page 56

In the long run, worth from approval kept me from investing in closer relationships with other men and fostered a loner mentality. Since the work of the church is never done, being busy brought admiration and helped build an active church, but inhibited my capacity to make hard decisions, build deeper relationships with staff and leaders, and no doubt sent messages of disapproval to staff who the weight.” He lifted the burden and has been calling me to freedom from work induced worth ever since. Perhaps you can relate? You too have learned to measure your manhood by what you achieve and by what others think about your achievements. But what a precarious foundation on which to build your worth. Timothy Keller calls this, “The crushing burden of working primarily to prove” our worth. What lengths we go to in order to gain the Nothing I did in ministry could satisfy my constant, never-ending desire for others’ approval. You can’t keep that up forever and eventually fuel for my work was gone. didn’t work as hard as I did or whose “results” were not up to my standards. Nothing I did in ministry could satisfy my constant, never-ending desire for others’ approval. You can’t keep that up forever and eventually fuel for my work was gone. I couldn’t keep going as a pastor. I was burned out. I had to let go of my work because in the end it wasn’t about serving Jesus as much as it was about trying to build my own kingdom where I would be noticed, approved, and accepted. My desires to focus on reaching men help me let go of a role that after years only fed me guilt, shame, and emptiness. That’s difficult to write, but it was a grace to run out of gas and to hear the Father say, “Son, it’s time. I’m lifting 56 SMG Solutions esteem of others and to prove our worth as men! What breaks into this cycle of performance-approval? What can deliver us from the uncertainty and the never-ending work of trying to find our significance in what we do? We need to go back to our heavenly Father. In Romans 3, Paul gives us the bad news and the good news. The bad news is that what we have feared our entire lives is true—that we fall short. We haven’t done enough. We can’t do enough. No matter how hard we try. No matter what we accomplish, we will never measure up to God’s standards for us. We have been examined and found to be sinners. Our never-ending struggle for approval, significance, and success all stems from this one central truth: we fall short. That’s why no success, no work, no affirmation from any human satisfies. We are doomed to always work and never to rest. But there is good news. Someone has done for us what we could not do. Jesus lived the perfectly right life that we could not. When we put our faith in him, his perfect life becomes ours—“the righteous of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Ro