The Performance Paradox


I work for a company who pays for performance, but serve a God who doesn’t. It’s difficult not to let my work mentality slip into my spiritual life. I try to tie my value to God based on what I do, not on who He created me to be. I think that the more I do for Him, the more He will love me or reward me, but that’s not true. That’s not how God sees me or values me. He loved me sufficiently before I could ever do anything for Him and did what needed to be done for my salvation.

I got a glimpse of that when my son was born. Before he was even born, I loved him. Before he could take me by the hand and say, “Come on, Dada. Let’s go play,” I loved him. My love for him is not based on what he does, but on who he is. It’s the same with God. Before we were born or had any knowledge of Him, He loved us deeper than we could ever know. He paid a price for us higher than anyone should have to pay.

So why do I tie my value to Him based on my performance? Like I mentioned earlier, I think it has to do with letting my worldly mentality interfere with my spiritual mentality. It’s hard to separate the two. For so much of what I do in life, I’m rewarded based on how much I put into it. There is a value placed on what I do and a monetary reward that supplies needs and wants for my family. The more I do, the more I’m valued.

In God’s kingdom, my value is not based on what I do. Ephesians 2:9 says, “Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it (NLT).” No matter how much “good” I do, it’s not good enough to pay the price He had to pay for my salvation. I don’t have to do “good things” to get to Heaven. I simply have to receive what He’s already paid for.

Because I have received that gift, I now show my appreciation by doing “good things.” The difference is that I have to change my mentality from thinking I’m doing them to earn something He gave to me freely into an expression of love. My performance is not to increase my value to God, but to increase His value in someone else’s life who doesn’t know Him. Once I understand that, the “good things” I do are done out of love and not out of obligation. They are done to give and not to receive.

Have you been in that same place where you thought your value to God was based on what you did? Have you let your worldly mentality infect your spiritual mentality? It’s not too late to change course. God values you and loves you more than you can imagine. Even if you feel there is nothing you can do for God, He still places a high value on you. His love for you and your value to Him are not tied to what you have done or will do. He values you simply because you were created by Him. Hold your head high today and don’t let anyone who didn’t create you tell you what you’re worth. God determines your worth based on what He did, not on what you’ve done.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Performance Paradox

  1. Thank you for your transparency, Chris. I listened to a sermon on Sunday by Tullian Tchividjian on this very topic. I think the point that lingers with me was, after all of our attempts at gaining status, influence, notoriety, and appreciation by the things we do, we must realize that in Christ we already ARE. We are actualized in him–period. Thanks for the reminder. (And a great opening line!)

    • Thanks for sharing. I love that we are already actualized in Him. We could do a lot more for the Kingdom if we weren’t spending so much time trying to gain status and notoriety.

  2. Alonso Pedroza

    Most of my life I tried doing “good things” to raise the value God sees in me. I’ve let the worldly view affect my sight if how God wants me to be/ do.
    You have changed my perspective and sight. Thank You!

    • Alonzo, I’m glad you can see now that it’s not your good things that raises your value to God. The Bible says, “faith without works is dead.” Our motivation for those works shouldn’t be based on getting God’s approval or to build our value. They should be based out of an overflow of love and appreciation for what He’s already done for us. Keep growing, my friend!

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