Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Men's Fraternity Week 19

Men’s Fraternity
Week #19 Significance


  • We have talked about daily battles worth fighting, we have talked about who or what we’re giving our life to:
    • Who or what we are worshipping.
    • Who or what we are letting define us.
    • Who or what we are serving.

I. Deep Idol of Significance

Galatians 1:10
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Lie of Significance – if a certain person, a certain social group or colleagues in my profession… If they find me worthy of attention or love, if they acknowledge my value… then I am significant.

[How often do we base our decisions on what others will think of us?]

  • Idol of Significance feeds on the opinions of others.
  • We care more about what people think than what God thinks.

When people give affirmation or feedback, which is a good thing, but then they become the greatest things when we cross the line of the Significance Idol.

”Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next person. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, cleverer, or better looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, clever, or good looking there would be nothing to be proud about.” C.S. Lewis

II. The Traps With the Idol of Significance

  • Approval trap.
  • Recognition trap.
  • Relationship trap.

    1. Approval Trap

      • In Biblical terms it’s called “The Fear of Man.”
      • Driven by fear and becoming overly concerned with disappointing or upsetting people.

      [Find significance in your actions, not in the approval you get from them.]

      Proverbs 29:25
      The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

      • Turning to others for what only God can provide is a direct result of accepting Satan’s trap:

      Significance = performance + other’s opinions

      • The lie of being approved by others to feel good about myself causes me to fear rejection and then conforming our attitudes and actions to the expectations of others.

      Acts 20:24
      But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

      Key questions to consider:< br />
      • Does the thought of disappointing people effect your peace and contentment?
      • Do you have a tendency to avoid telling people what you really think?
      • Are you hypersensitive to criticism and you either are crushed or you seek to crush the one who said it?

      Approval trap is fueled by the “steroid” to prove yourself!

    2. Recognition Trap
      • The trap is based on pride and hungers for admiration and fame.
      • Being recognized can be a good thing, but it becomes toxic when it becomes the greatest thing.
      2 Corinthians 10:12
      Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

      Recognition trap is often fueled by comparison with other men and the recognition they receive.

      • When we regret doing something because we didn’t get the recognition it uncovers our real motives.

    3. Relationship Trap
      • A man is tempted to feel “less than” if he is not in a relationship or finds himself single again.

      1 Corinthians 7:32
      The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.

      Singleness provides a unique opportunity to invest eternally by giving undivided devotion to the Lord.

III. Replacing the Idol of Significance

  • The answer to the fear of man is the fear of God.

Luke 12:4-5
I tell you,my friends, do not fear those who kill the body and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I warn you whom to fear, fear him who, after he has killed has authority to cast into hell. Yes I tell you, fear him!

  • Know that people’s actions are more about their hearts than about us, so do not take their rejection or mistreatment personal.

Isaiah 51:7-8, 12
Hear me you who know what is right, you people who have taken my instruction to heart: Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals or be terrified by their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations. – I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that fear mere mortals, human beings who are but grass…

  • Remember that people are mortals like us, they too are fallible and are going to die someday but God is infallible and eternal.

Understand who has the real power, both now and forever; and let no one define who you are but God!

”It is the most natural thing in the world to be scared, and the clearest evidence of God’s grace at work in our hearts is when we do not get into panics. The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.” Oswald Chambers

  • We were made for more than worrying about what people may think.
  • We were born for more than fearing someone’s opinion.
  • We were redeemed for more than living with focus on pleasing humans.
  • We were saved for more, much more, than this shallow approach to life.
  • We were chosen to do the will of God and not the idol of man’s popularity.


Fear of man vs. fear of God - There are no other options.

Questions for discussion:

Which of the significance traps is most relevant for you: the approval trap, the recognition trap, or the relationship trap? Discuss.

Living according to the false belief I must be approved by certain others to feel good about myself causes us to fear rejection conforming all of our attitudes and actions to the expectations of others. How are you affected by this belief?

In Acts 20:24 Paul says, But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Discuss what traps Paul had to work through and how he worked through them.

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