There is a very common lie that many people believe and it causes a lot of unnecessary pain in their lives. The lie is this: I am what I do. It’s the performance mentality lie that tells us that our worth comes from what we do.
3 things the performance mentality lie focuses on:
1. It wrongly focuses on our accomplishments.
Most of us when we accomplish something feel good about ourselves. You might be the top producer in your company and now you feel valued. You might have got the promotion and you feel good. Maybe you’ve earned a certain level of income and that makes us feel worthwhile. In and of themselves, these things are not bad. The problem starts when we base our identity and worth on these things.
2. It focuses on what we have.
We so often wrongly define our worth by what we have. We get the nice car and we think: “Look at me. Even though I financed this over 84 months at 8% interest, I am the cat’s meow.”
Or we may say things like: “Have you seen the clothes that I wear? The places we take our kids? The vacations we go on?” It is not wrong to have nice things BUT we can’t base our worth on these things.
3. It wrongly focuses on what other people think about us.
Sadly, we often wrongly base our worth on what others think about us. I have struggled with this. This has led me to think things like: “If I preach a good message, people will say they like me or they will say good things to me or about me.”
Or “I want everyone to think I am the most dedicated pastor so I am going to be at every thing the church has to offer and I am never going to say ‘No’ to anything that anyone asks of me.” The truth is, that is crazy talk! Unfortunately I lived that way for a long time.
God determines who we are. We have to let that truth settle in our hearts. We are not our accomplishments, or what we accumulate or what others think of us. Don’t confuse the who with the do!
We are who God says we are.
And who does God say we are?
- We are God’s children (John 1:12).
- We are Christ’s friend (John 15:15).
- We are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- We are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).
- We have been bought a price and we belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
- We have been seated in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).
Who are we? We are who God says we are!
And I don’t want you to say: “What I do is not important” because it is. Look at Ephesians 2:10. This verse says:
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
God wants us to do the right thing. We are created to do good works that God prepared in advance for us TO DO. What we do is important but the motive in which we do it is even more important.
How have you struggled with the performance mentality?