Feeling Appreciated by God: The Difference Between Service & Performance

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I just have to share this quote from Mark Driscoll’s new book “Who Do You Think You Are?” The book is all about how Christians define their identity. Each chapter focuses in on a particular part of our identity in Christ. It is in his chapter on “I am Appreciated” he talks about how understanding that God really does appreciate us frees us from living life as a performance for others and opens us up to embrace serving others instead. I haven’t read a ton of Driscoll’s books and I haven’t spent a lot of time listening to his sermons. I am familiar with him and some of the controversy that surrounds him at times and I am aware of the perception that Mark sometimes comes across as harsh. So far, this book has completely undone that perception. This book is loving. It is kind. It is gentle. I have been greatly blessed by it so far. Here is the quote,

“Knowing God appreciates us allow us to exchange our performance for service. Performance is done for the sight and approval of others. Service is done knowing that God is watching and approving whether or not anyone else is. Performance causes us to be enslaved to others’ opinions, unable to say no, and prone to being overworked. Service frees us to do what God wants, thereby saying no as needed. Performance presses us toward perfectionism, where we seek to do everything just right so others will praise. us. Service allows us to do our best, knowing that God’s appreciation of us is secure regardless of our performance. Performance causes us to focus on the ‘big’ things and only do what is highly visible or significant. Service allows us to do simple, humble, and menial takss–the ‘little things’–knowing that the peasant, Jewish carpenter we worship equally appreciates them both.” (p.62)show we are superior performers,

That is a meaty quote. Because God loves us and God is watching over us in everything and because we do it as if we are doing it for the Lord, we don’t live to perform for people. We live to give glory to God. If we follow the example of Jesus we know that service to others is close to the Lord’s heart because he came as a servant. So we don’t live to do everything for public consumption and public praise. We don’t do what we do for the spotlight. In fact, the spotlight moments should only flow out of the depth of service, character and integrity we develop in those moments the spotlight will never see.

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