I recently had an amazing opportunity to spend a weekend with a group of pastors and visit some very large churches in the San Diego area. After visiting the churches, we had the opportunity to meet with the lead pastors to discuss elements of leadership and ask questions. One thing that really stood out to me was when one pastor said, “You have nothing to prove and no one to impress.” I found this statement to be simple, yet remarkable as pastors spend a lot of time working with and for people. It is often common for leaders to compare themselves against other leaders or try to adopt specific formulas that brings a particular ministry or organization great success.
As I began to ponder this statement a little longer, I realized that although my overall main goal is never to impress someone, I usually want that to be a part of the aftermath of what I do. I want to fully be God-pleasing, yet I tend to lean on the people-pleasing side. Whether it is your spouse, dad, mom, children, friends, boss, co-workers, employees, neighbors, or pastor, how does one continue down a path that will make decisions based on pleasing God first and foremost and not on pleasing people?
For starters, when we have something to prove and someone to impress, we take our eyes off of what God is calling us to do and place our eyes on something else. Hebrews 12:2 tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. We can have peace in the sovereignty of God. He is moving and working every hour of everyday through people for his glory. God has created you uniquely for his purposes with particular gifts and interests. He also has placed you in specific places- the city you live in, the neighbors you live near, the co-workers you rub shoulders with regularly, and the church body you worship with- to be his hands and feet and a light to this world. We are not all called to the same exact things, but we are all called to love and serve others.
Noah is a great example of someone who did not set out to impress anyone by human standards. Noah was 600 years old when God sent the flood to cover the earth and all the wickedness that existed. God calls Noah prior to the flood to build a major ark to protect his family as well as the birds and animals and every living creature. God had called Noah for a specific purpose and Genesis 6 tells us that Noah did everything just as God commanded him. I want to live a life that exemplifies doing everything just as God commanded.
Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”