As children, we were likely taught some form of behavioral modification. Now that we are older, we have learned to keep close tabs on our words and behavior using sophisticated filters. Unfortunately, every once in a while, our filter breaks down and we say or do something that we regret. While behavior is important, it was not Jesus’ priority when he came to earth. Jesus came to save and transform the heart. With that in mind, how is your heart? 

Discussion Questions: 

1. Think back to when you were a child in school. Who did you work hard to please or impress? Why was it so important to you? 

2. As an adult, in what settings/relationships have you been tempted to make pleasing people your pursuit? 

3. Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 twice (Once together as a group and once to yourself). 

  • In what area do you think Paul was most likely tempted to please people? 

  • Paul chose to not give into the temptation to please people. How did this decision affect how he treated the people who received this letter? 

  • What was Paul’s goal for these people? How would this have been different if he first sought the approval of man? 

4. In Mark 12:30, Jesus makes clear that our love for God and others is most important. Pastor Chris stated, “When man’s approval is my ultimate pursuit, I am choosing to disregard what Jesus said is most important.” How do you see this truth played out in your life and our society? Can you imagine how your life might be different if you lived to please God? 

5. All of us are tempted almost daily to make pleasing people our unwritten goal. Pastor Chris mentioned three daily rhythms that might be helpful in dealing with this heart issue. 

  • Decide – Today, I am living to please God above all. 

  • Depend –Today, I realize I am unable to do this on my own and need Jesus. 

  • Delight –Today, I will intentionally get to know God in his Word so I can love him more. 

6. What specific steps can we take to make pleasing God our ultimate pursuit?