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Are you a slave to performance?

Performance enslaves us to the opinions of others, making us unable to say no to anyone.

How do people become great? Do they launch a business and make a lot of money? Do they start a band and play before thousands? Do they make a video that goes viral on YouTube?

Jesus said that our pursuit of greatness is through service, not performance. He modeled this with his own life, laying it down for our forgiveness.

Performance is doing things for other people’s approval. Service is doing them for God’s approval, knowing that he is watching. Performance enslaves us to the opinions of others, making us unable to say no to anyone. Service frees us to do what God wants, enabling us to say no to others as needed. Performance leads us to become perfectionists, wanting to do everything just right to get praise from others. Service allows us to do even simple tasks and know that we are praised by God for doing so.

Knowing that God appreciates us in Christ allows us to exchange our performance for service.

Read

Mark 9:33–37

  • Did Jesus discipline his disciples for aspiring to greatness? (No. Jesus redirected their aspirations for greatness.)
  • How does someone obtain greatness in the kingdom of heaven? (“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”)
  • Do you have tendency to perform or to serve? Have everyone in your family identity up to three ways they can serve.

Prayer

Pray for a deeper understanding of God’s appreciation for you and your family to free you from the pressures of performing and to help you become more satisfied in serving.

This devotion is adapted from the Who Do You Think You Are? Study Guides with Daily Devotions resource.


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