My reading this week revealed to me the four false beliefs that plague most lives. These are lies or distortions of truth, needing to be exposed so they lose their power over us. In them, I see myself. I have, at one time or another, been controlled by believing one of these lies so I am compelled to repeat them here in an effort to expose the enemy. It is my deepest desire to see people brought to complete freedom in Christ, enjoying the full life he planned and identifying as a child of the living God!
The next four days will be dedicated to these false beliefs – one each day with corresponding truth from God’s word. This material is originally from Robert McGee’s book The Search for Significance.
I must meet certain standards of performance to feel good about myself!
Let me ask — who hasn’t at one time or another felt the need to perform to an unspoken standard? I know I have!
When Dave and I first married, we attended a church that gave certain directives one followed to ensure good standing in the church. They related mostly to what we wore, where we went, how we looked. At first, I really tried to comply. I wanted to fit in and I was an approval addict at the time. As time went on, I struggled. You see, I knew in my heart that I wasn’t complying even though on the outside everything looked okay. It was like the child whose mother told him to sit down and he replied, “I may be sitting down on the outside, but I’m standing up on the inside.” I was so afraid someone would discover what it looked like on the inside.
Nine years into our marriage, I visited the doctor for my yearly exam and, while answering her general health questions, revealed that I was experiencing some obsessive compulsive behaviors. She suggested I might be depressed. Looking back, she was spot on, but I denied it at the time.
Attempting to live up to certain standards in order to feel good about oneself is dysfunctional and destructive, often resulting in a depressive, anxious life. I needed to be set free!
The truth I needed to appropriate in my life is that in Christ, I am a new creation! I don’t need to perform to be accepted or to feel good about myself. I can feel good about myself because the Word says I am chosen (John 15:16); set apart (John 17:17); a child of God (John 1:12); the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16); God’s work of art (Ephesians 2:10); seated with Christ (Ephesians 2:6); justified by faith in Christ (Romans 5:1).
When I place my faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection and receive the free gift he offers me, I am changed. I am set free to worship God in spirit and truth. I am his child with a glorious future and an unimaginable inheritance.
Are you caught in the trap of trying to meet certain standards to feel good about yourself? Do you perform for approval from others? Take a moment to read the scriptures again and ask Jesus to show you how he sees you. Let him set you free from the bondage of performance!