June 7, 2011

Driven & Enslaved

Yesterday I read a quote from Tim Keller that said, "If we take our meaning in life from our family, our work, a cause, or some achievement other than God, they enslave us." When I read that I thought back to talking about being driven yesterday. I truly believe that if you can honestly answer the question, "Who am I trying to please?" you will discover what drives you. I also believe that many, if not most, of us find ourselves driven by the things that Pastor Keller mentions in this quote.

Too often we're driven by our work or the fact that our work provides for our family. We men tend to really wrap ourselves up in the position of provider, & there is nothing wrong with that. However, how many men can we think of who destroyed their families in the name of providing for their families? Still other people strive to give their children everything they didn't have. They want their children to excel in everything they do, & again, there's nothing wrong with that. However, how many families have we watched self-destruct because mothers & fathers offered their children up on the altar of athletics or academics rather than offering them up to God? Perhaps most deceptively, thousands upon thousands will wrap themselves up in their religion, their church involvement, & their ministries. Again, nothing wrong with it, but how many stories do we have to hear about pastors who blow up their families, churches, & influence before we realize that even the drive to build a ministry isn't what should drive us.

All of those things are good things, but when we become driven by our family, our job, or even our ministry itself, we've gone off the tracks. When we seek to please our spouse, our kids, or the people we lead & serve with at church more than we seek to please our Heavenly Father, our drive has become unhealthy. Ironically, when this happens not only do those once good things enslave us, we often find that we are robbed of them as well.

So I ask again, "Who are you trying to please?" Honestly answer that & you'll discover what drives you. If you're not seeking above all to please your Heavenly Father, you are risking not only your freedom but also the very things that God would like to bless: your family, your work, & your ministry.

June 6, 2011


Everyone is driven, but we're not all driven by the same things. When we say someone is driven, it's more likely that we're recognizing that the person is driven by something different from what drives us or that his or her drive is expressed in a very different way from our own. In the end though, we're all driven.

The real question is "What drives me? What is it that serves as my motivation?" The answer to this question reveals the grid by which we make decisions, relate to others, and determine our priorities. But how do you really answer the question of what drives you? I think another very simple question, if answered honestly, will make it clear what drives you & me.

Who Am I Trying To Please?

That's it. If you can sincerely answer this question, you'll know for better or for worse what is driving you. I'm not going to make you feel good by telling you there are no wrong answers to this question; there are definitely wrong answers. We've all known people who attempted to please everyone around them, & in the end it burnt them out because making everyone happy is a huge myth.

Answer this question for yourself. If you don't like the answer, sit down & begin to figure out what you need to do in order to shift what drives you.