Wednesday, September 27, 2006

High Performance

There are a whole bunch of high performance Christians in our churches today...and that is not a good thing. When I think about high performance, a dragster comes to mind. Those vehicles are sleek, they shine, people get impressed just by looking at them. When they start to move, there is smoke and fire and off they go. And boy do they go ... but for how long? A short distance and then they are done. Those sleek vehicles are not very good for a long race. They don’t have the inner capacity for the long haul. Unfortunately, the same is true for many believers. they look good on the outside, the do the right Christian things. Other Christians may be really impressed with their ‘service for the Kingdom,’ but they burn out and we all wonder what happened?

I think the problem is (and this is from personal experience) that we really don’t believe God loves us just like we are. So we have to perform to get His (or His people’s) approval. If we sacrifice, serve more, or have a regular quiet time maybe, just maybe God will like us more. If we shine up our outsides and burn ourselves out for Him, He will be pleased.

He is not pleased with you any more than he already is. God is love. That does not change.

Remember grace? Grace by which you were saved? Remember understanding that He loves you despite your sin? Remember He forgave you? Nothing has changed. If you are performing for God or for his people in order to impress them (By the way, you may be doing this without even knowing it...You will need to search your soul) Then JUST STOP IT!

Jesus wants us to be more like a well maintained Yugo than like a high performance dragster. Love motivates the service and the ‘doing’ not because we ‘have to.’ High Performance Christians tend to be miserable but High Grace Christians last because they rest in the never ending abundance of God’s grace. Jesus would like you to be around for the long journey knowing all the while He’s right there with you under the hood.

Poor Confused Me

Have you noticed that in many churches, people have no idea who they really are? Most people are living someone else's life. They are living their lives according to the desires or dictates of someone else because they want to be accepted. Or they are living according to some learned behavior from their family of origin that goes against who they really are in Christ. Because of this we have church full of miserable christians.

The reason we become miserable is because we forget about grace. We certainly understand about grace when it comes to saving grace - that we can be saved no by what we do but simply by trusting Christ. That is, He excepts us even though we are totally unworthy.

The problem is that when we become saved we then forget and try to please God and others by our performance. In our churches we teach that to be a "Good Christian" you must read the Bible, go to church, pray, evangelize, fast and the like. I want you to notice that those things are things we 'do' and can quickly degenerate into things we are supposed to do...perform to please God or serve so our brothers and sisters will like us. Whatever happened to just being with God. To sit in His grace and know that we are loved no matter if we perform or not. We serve because we understand God's love not so we can get God to love us more. I know we understand this in our heads, but maybe in our actions and thoughts, we show we believe something different.


W hen I first came to Christ, one of the basic beliefs that was instilled in me, was the idea that one of the worst things that could happen...