It was Jenn’s mom’s birthday last Saturday.  Coming home from the Couples Getaway of Victory Fort,  she had a dinner for the whole family all set up – steak, liempo, puchero, and lots of other dishes.  It was a major feast.

Have you ever told yourself, “Ok, there’s lots of food.  I’m hungry.  But I won’t eat a lot tonight.”

Fast forward a couple of hours, you’re burping every minute because of the tons of food you ate.

That was me.

You’ve heard it’s been said to “follow your heart.”  (For this instance, it was follow my stomach.)

You like this guy, just follow your heart.
You want to transfer to another department, then just follow your heart.
You desire to leave your wife because she’s so annoying, then just follow your heart.
You want to spend more time with him even if you’re married because he gives you the attention you don’t get from your husband; then just follow your heart.
You know it’s wrong.  Going all the way won’t be the wisest thing to do.  But then again, just follow your heart.

Not sure if you’ve noticed by now, we are actually masters at self-deception.  At least I know I am.  I’ve lived long enough to realize that.

“I can eat this liempo.  I really haven’t had any in a long time… like 24 hours…”
“Just one won’t hurt.”
“No one notices anyway.”

We’re good at convincing ourselves to do something we know that’s not wise.

Then we end up messing up.  Then we blame our circumstances, others, our childhood, our parents, even God.  We blame everyone else except ourselves.

Let me tell you why we can’t follow our heart.

Jeremiah told us clearly that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

It’s deceitful.  It’s desperately wicked.

What would be a good standard to follow?  God’s given us His word.

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:8, NLT)

It is our compass.  When we stick to what He says, then the promise is that there is going to be success in all we do.

His Word.  Our standard.




Have you ever tried to ‘fish’ for approval?  I’ve done it so many times.

“I didn’t even sleep well last night … that’s why I only scored 10 points…”
“I wasn’t able to prepare much … that’s why I wasn’t as sharp in the presentation.”
“I didn’t get to practice much … that’s why I didn’t sing well today.”

Approval addiction.  What is it?
John Ortberg defines it as “living in bondage to what others think of them.”

How do we know that we are crossing the line of addiction?


Approval addicts find themselves measuring their accomplishments against those of other people.


Our concern for what others think about us inevitably leads us to shade the truth.


We crave approval too strongly, we inevitably come to resent the very person whose approval we seek.

How can we solve this problem?

2 Cor. 10:5 says that we are to demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Part of it means refusing to allow other people’s approval or disapproval to dominate our lives.

We are to take captive every thought of wishing to impress, dazzle and amaze people.

Lord, set us free from man-pleasing spirit.