When I started college, I set a number of fairly ambitious goals that I wanted to achieve during the next four years, and as each year went by, I kept adding to them. Join a fraternity. Become a fraternity officer. Join the student newspaper. Be one of the key editors. Be named to the leadership fraternity and Who’s Who.
By the middle of my senior year, I had achieved every goal I had set. I had run out of goals, and it still wasn’t enough. And I crashed.
We chase after everything and anything that promises fulfillment and significance – achievement, power, money, beauty, approval – the list can get lengthy. Yet even when we achieve them, they’re never enough. We always crave more.
The reason is that we’re chasing after all the wrong things. And Pete Wilson, pastor of Crosspoint Church in Nashville, Tennessee, explains why – in detail – in Empty Promises: the Truth About You, Your Desires, and the Lies You’re Believing.
Reading this book can be like looking in the mirror.
Chapter by chapter, Wilson considers many of the key things we look to – and devote our lives and energies to – for meaning and significance. Achievement. Approval. Power. Money. Religion (yes, religion). Beauty. Personal dreams. Because we are a people wired to worship, he says, the question isn’t “Do we worship” but instead “Who of what do we worship.”
Chapter by chapter, Wilson’s message is convicting. He uses a combination of Biblical teaching and personal examples to make his points. And his points are piercing.
Had he stopped with defining the problem, his message would have been satisfactory but not helpful. But he goes on, in simple, straightforward language, to discuss what is the only real object of our desires for fulfillment – and how to live a life of worship.
Even for those of us who know better, or should know better, Empty Promises is an important reminder of how easy it is to get caught up in seeking the wrong things, even with the best of intentions.
And in my case, when I finally understood the futility of what I had been chasing after, I gave it up, and turned to faith in God. It made all the difference.