There’s a lot of noise and hype in the Christian women’s world. We love listening to popular speakers who encourage us to dream big dreams and boldly pursue our purpose. We buy their books, attend their conferences, and fangirl all over them. But the problem with this is that many of these so-called Christian women’s leaders are actually presenting worldly values dressed up in Christian language. And, if we’re not discerning, we can be deceived by another gospel (Gal 1:7, 2 Cor 11:4)… because gospel faithfulness isn’t glamorous.
It’s one thing to look up to people who start a cultural movement. But there’s a darker underside for those who follow Christ. As these thought leaders share “their truth,” what they’re often teaching us is what we want to hear. They’re building their empires, selling us the false hope of building our own empire. Ironically what we don’t see is the amount of hard work they put in to get where they are.
These high-vibe, high energy messages of a better life stir us up, but the excitement rarely lasts. They stir our emotions to get us to buy a book or program to get this elusive better life. And while we might experience a short term bump in motivation, most of us end up back in the same place a month or two later. Because again, there is no shortcut, and faithfulness isn’t glamorous.
Our True Identity
So, why does this keep happening? The messages we hear from so many inspirational teachers prey on our desire to feel significant. But for Christians, our identity is in Christ, not our fan base or social media followings. In fact, if we depend on these metrics to determine our value, we will be chasing the wind. If we want to have eternal significance, our focus should be on doing what God values. But this message doesn’t promise the accolades of the world.
That’s because doing big things is the outcome of faithfully doing small things, but the small things that nourish our faith aren’t “fun things.” It means regularly spending time studying Scripture and praying so we can serve and minister to those around us.
The impact of a life well-lived can have far-reaching effects. But the people who seem to pop up out of nowhere often don’t have the strong root system that will sustain long term faithfulness. They’re like the seeds that were thrown on rocky soil and grew up quickly but then withered because they didn’t have roots.
Why We Need Discernment
Friends, because faithfulness isn’t glamorous, we must be discerning. If the messages we’re hearing make us feel good and inspired, we should look at them closely. Do they line up with the central gospel teaching that God reconciled us to himself through the blood of Christ? Do they glorify our messiness instead of our identity in Christ and the necessity of our sanctification? Do they call us to flee sin and be in the world but not of the world?
And chances are, the popular authors and speakers who are inspiring Christian women with quasi-biblical teaching don’t demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. They may be nice, relatable, and funny, but this doesn’t make their message reliable.
If we’re not paying attention, we can easily fall for the hype of mega-popular inspirational Christian leaders. But this causes us to take our eyes off Jesus. When we place our trust in earthly leaders and teachers, we will be disappointed.
Maybe I’m idealizing the past, but it seems like previous generations of Christians weren’t so obsessed with novelty and sub-biblical teaching. I’m not saying that personal development can’t help us grow as people. But I’m saying we must be careful to build our core beliefs on biblical teaching rather than the teachings of the latest inspirational speaker.
So rather than listening to people who tell us to find our purpose, we can look to historic Christian teaching that our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. It is in the pursuit of God’s glory that we will find our purpose and passion, not through endless navel-gazing. Instead of stumbling around, searching for ourselves, we can get involved in work that is clearly taught in Scripture.
I’d love to hear your thoughts…what ideas and messages do you think are most attractive to Christian women?