23 Performance TrapPosted: July 15, 2012
“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 6:1
Rules flow out of fear. The rules may issue out of fears, such as: fear of failure, fear of being punished or even out of fear of losing praise. By our rules we try to avoid bad things. By our good performance we try to create good things. We think that if we do the right thing at the right time, good will result. We seek to obey all the rules and do all the right things. Sometimes this even works!
Positive results reinforce our performance and striving behavior. If we crave praise and diligently seek it, we find ourselves in The Performance Trap.
Jesus calls us to obey Him rather than our man made rules. Valuing what people say about us more than what God says about us makes an idol out of human praise. You may think receiving praise is harmless, but consider how you allow it to control you. What are some things you have done today solely because someone else thought you should do it rather than doing it because it was on your task list for the day? Do you run after praise?
You may be thinking, “But, I’m supposed to try to please others.” Why? Who says? What will happen if you don’t? Are you obeying Jesus in your people-pleasing behavior? “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)
Where is your emotional investment, earthly treasure or heavenly treasure? I am speaking of praise as a type of treasure. “’Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Let go of performing for others. What is God saying to you about your motivations? Choose to live for Him and His glory rather than for your own glory.
Learning to live for the Master,
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