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Performance (3 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 5 of 10
So for example if a woman attaches her identity to her children's performance that's an issue. Now the kids have got to perform or mum feels bad about herself, and when the kids are failing in front of people mum is now in a major insecure identity issue. It's not about the kids, it's not about training them, it's not about godliness. It's actually about I'm not looking good. I'm feeling bad, and you kids are causing it and I've got to really get control over you to stop this happening. So you cannot have your identity within your children. Children leave home, now you're rejected because got no kids around. Your identity's been in the wrong place. Our identity's not in our children. If your identity's in your children you can hardly say no to them and you will try to control them. Our identity must be in Christ. We're secure [in our Christ 00.19.46] and we steward our children for God. That means training them, saying no to them, shaping them and then eventually releasing them.

If your identity's in them you can't release them, because it's part of who you are. You're letting go. You can't die because your identity's tied [up. 00.20.04] You getting the idea? So people live with a thing like I'm inferior. Well where do you get this thing I am inferior? Inferior means you're comparing with something; well I'm comparing with you and I compare what's best in you with what's worst in me, and I am inferior. So my mindset is I'm inferior - but I'm not inferior. I am me, and you are not the basis for how I evaluate my life. The Bible says 2 Corinthians 12:10, it says if you compare yourselves, one with another, you're stupid and foolish and you've got no sense in the conclusions you come to. You can't use someone else as the basis for who you are. There's only one person we can use and that's Jesus Christ. Now you'll get to in a minute about what it means to be born again you see.

So if a person has got this whole performance base inside, essentially in their heart they believe if I do well I'm loveable and acceptable. If I don't do well I'm not acceptable, I'll be rejected. That's the core belief system inside and that has to shift, see? Now if a person believes that, if you believe that in your heart - I believed it for a long time. I believed it for years and you know what the fruit of it was? The fruit of it was every school I went to, every place I ever went I had the diligence prize, but do you know what drove it? A funny belief system inside, and a drivenness and a fear and a struggling and a striving that produced this thing which was not the fruit of the Spirit. It was the fruit of fear and inferiority in my life. See, so you can't use that. See I put approval which I was seeking on performance, so therefore performance was always the evaluation mark of who I was and how I was doing. [That right? 00.21.50]

Now when you think like that you have a whole heap of stuff goes on in your life, and you might know someone like this so I want you to listen to this list of fruit because I think you'll know someone just like that. You might even like to point it out to them. [Laughter] But don't expect them to receive it. You could expect an angry response - so the first thing is a person who's got their identity in their performance always needs affirmation about their performance. They constantly need to be affirmed. Why? If they're not affirmed they don't feel they are okay. Okay, second thing is they can't handle feedback because they feel rejected. Give them feedback; well this was good because of this, this and this. That was bad - oh! What do you think [unclear 00.22.31] - now you see because in their world when you say something about the behaviour you're attacking them, because their identity is attached to the performance.

Speak about the performance, now you're attacking them personally and they're going to get angry, resentful and react. Many Christians are like that. When you try to disciple them and talk about their behaviours and their attitudes they react and get offended and withdraw. This is the reason why; because their identity is not established in Christ. It's around their performance, and when you say something about the performance you say something about them. So you try to point out to a mother something about her child you know, four times out of five she'll react angrily. Talk to the dad, he'll probably say yeah, they've been doing that at home too - but the mums identity, because of the nurture is often - not always but often - more deeply attached to the child and their behaviour. A criticism of the child is perceived through this filter in the mind, that's an attack on me. [Laughs]