The Pressure to Perform

I don’t know when it happened or how but… I found myself stuck like chuck a few months ago. Like, on complete and utter pause trying to figure out why I was so miserable, so tapped out. I wanted to tear my hair out! But the Lord is nothing if not merciful and kind, so Abba led me carefully and sweetly to have a whole seat. All while I wailed aloud, “HOW DID I GET HERE? NOBODY S’SPOSED to BE HERE?!?” (Shout out to Debra Cox).

And the Holy Spirit shook His very Holy Spirit finger at me and said, “Unh unh, lil sis! Remember that the kingdom suffers violence and the violent take it by force. What the word say? You ain’t fighting flesh and blood, you’re fighting the unseen. But you outchea slap-boxing the boys and girls. You keep trying to wrestle the people and problems around you, and now you done wore yourself out.”

So I been sitting here weeping and gnashing my teeth beating myself up, trying to figure out how I got back here. Cuz I don’t know?

Oh wait. Yeah I do. I just thought I had overcome it. I thought I had overcome the internal need to perform so that I would be accepted. Turns out it had just morphed into something even worse.

It turned into a form of godliness.

And here’s what we was NOT GONE do.

What we was NOT GONE go to hell for folks to be satisfied inside their own brokenness. Nah bruh. Nor was we gone twist ourselves into pretzel shaped pain filled trauma holes for folks to pour their dysfunction into so they could continue to call what is abnormal normal. And neither was we gone keep seeking after puny incomplete imperfect people to fill Infinitely eternal God shaped empty spaces in our lives.

Yeah we was not gone do NONE of that.

That’s what church will do to you if you let it. If you get caught up in the work of it all. You start to really believe that what you do determines who you are—and that whole idea flies in the face of the gospel. What I do flows out of who I am; it doesn’t shape who I am! But who I am remains unknown to me until I fully know Christ in the beauty of His holiness. Who I am remains a shaky half formed idea if I am never rooted and grounded in God’s pure love for me. Who I am remains entangled in the flesh I’m supposed to crucify, me confusing the two things as one instead of the 2 separate parts that they are, and I will nail the glory of God up there on the cross right along with the sin nature and that ain’t the move.

Yeah. You can’t let performing overtake becoming. You can’t allow people to pressure you into doing when you haven’t even half figured out how to BE. The scripture says: “for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” (Acts‬ ‭17:28‬ ‭KJV‬‬). Another version puts it like this:

“and he gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are. “We are his children,” just as some of your poets have said.” (Acts‬ ‭17:28‬ ‭CEVDCI)‬‬

See, “to be who we are.” From there, from being who we are, IN CHRIST, we can then do what God has purposed us to do—not the performance that satisfies people, but the will that pleases God and glorifies His name.

So what now?

Well. I saddown. My goal forever is to glorify God. If what I’m doing isn’t bringing God glory? I ain’t trying to do it. I refuse to misuse the grace He has given me. And this sitting down isn’t me being petulant; it is me taking the time to reorient myself inside the love of Christ, where I am supposed to live. The only way that I can move. The one place where I have my being.

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