The Empty Promises of Peer Approval

“A young person will forget the transcendent glory of an identity that is rooted in the presence, power, and grace of the Redeemer. Instead she will live for the pseudo-glory of the approval of peers. She’ll pick up on and parrot her friends’ vocabulary, she’ll take on their sense of style, she’ll laugh obviously at their jokes, and she’ll even participate in activities that prick her conscience— all because she has convinced herself that she “needs” their approval. There will be moments when she will feel transcendent. She will feel as if her life has real meaning and purpose because she is connected to something bigger than herself. The sad fact is that she has opted for less. The community of her peers has actually become a replacement community for the transcendent glory of loving, worshipful, daily community with the Lord. And the things that she hopes she will find in the acceptance of her peers, no human being is ever able to give to her. She will only ever find it in the accepting grace of God.” -Paul Tripp

Me-Centered More

“Have you ever thought about what exactly the Serpent offered Eve in that fateful conversation in the garden? What he offered Eve was “more.” What he offered Eve was transcendence, but it had a fatal flaw. It wasn’t connected to God! Here was an offer of an “above and beyond” glory, but it was a replacement for the transcendent glory that can only be found in God. Notice the thundering implication of these five simple words, “You will be like God.” The Serpent was saying, You know, Eve, there is a greater, more satisfying glory than anything you have yet experienced. Your life can be much, much more than it has already been. Why, Eve, you can have it all. If you would just be willing to step outside of God’s narrow boundaries, you wouldn’t need to be connected to him, because you would be like him. These manipulative words of the enemy appear to offer greater transcendence but are really shrinking it dramatically. The glory that the Serpent holds out is no glory at all. Let me state it this way: When I opt for a me-centered “more,” what I actually get is always much, much less.” – Paul Tripp

Cultural Observation: Identity (Pt. 2)

On an episode of Mad Men, Don Draper is forced to fire an employee for drinking too much on the job. (Oh, the irony.) However, he wants the employee to sober up and return to the agency, so he gives the man a year’s severance pay and tells him to get clean and come back in a year. The conversation takes place in an alley during a rainstorm. And as Draper climbs into a cab, the former employee looks at him desperately and pleads, “If I don’t show up to that office on Monday morning, I don’t know who I am.” -David Lomas