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Performance (3 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 7 of 10
Let it out, a great hearty laugh [laughs] and you know there's something free about that that people like. See, not much laughter around the home? Boy, she's tight - and then if it's not much laughter and it's all controlled do you know what happens? A kids spirit gets shut down inside and they get - you know what? They don't believe - this is what they believe in their heart: I can't be myself in this environment. I can't share my feelings and my feelings are part of me; I can't share my thoughts, my thoughts are part of me, because the moment I do they'll say you're not to think like that. You shouldn't feel that way. In our family we don't do those kinds of things. Now you understand that kind of environment crushes kids and raises them to be performers and they're really insecure. When there's laughter and affection and people are accepted and mistakes are not you know, dwelt on [unclear 00.28.16]. Listen, get over it. Come on, it's a light thing. Little kids make mistakes you know?

But you see if your identity's tied up in the kid performing perfectly, you're going to require something of them that crushes their spirit. Love and laughter and affirmation, that creates a healthy environment for everyone - including me. [Laughs] I love it - so of course when people get into church, of course now OH NO! I've got all these new things I've got to do! [Laughter] It was hard before and it's terrible now! [Laughter] Now God, I must do this and I mustn't do that, and I have to do this and I can't do that, oh! And that's people's concept of Christianity. You talk to unsaved people, their concept is you can't do this, you can't do that, you have to do this, you have to do that. Listen, I don't have to do anything. Because I love the Lord I do the things that please Him. They're part of who I am. You getting the idea?

So the Pharisees were like that and of course when there's people like that they're striving to be perfect all the time. They're full of guilt and full of striving - and they're full of envy. They look around, you know they're watching what everyone else is doing; who did the pastor talk to? He didn't talk to me. [Laughter] What does that mean? It means he favours this one, doesn't favour me. They get all screwed up inside on it. [Laughter] He looked at me, he didn't say anything. What does that mean? [Laughter] It didn't mean anything; he was thinking about something else, that's all it means. Came in and I said hello and he didn't say hello, just walked straight past me. What does that mean? [Laughter] He hates me, I know it. I knew it. I've always known he hates me. [Laughter] No, no, he was thinking about something else. He just walked on by and never heard a word.

Come on, you've got to understand, this is stuff that goes on with people when they're insecure inside and it's because they're watching everyone, they're comparing, envy, someone gets something - I didn't get that. How come I didn't get that? Why do they get it? They don't deserve it. Well maybe they just got it not because they deserved, but because someone was generous. God is generous. He doesn't give things because you deserve it, He gives it because He's generous. Yee aah! Well I paid my tithe, God's got to give me - God doesn't operate like that! I'm glad God's saved me, my finance [was His hands so 00.30.23] so I'm glad to give, and God is glad to bless me. But the moment you get into this performance thing you come under the law and it becomes miserable and legalistic and people can't trust God, they can't be spontaneous. They're shut down.

I've been into some churches and I look and I think oh my God, this is disastrous. There's one place I would never be if I was in this city was that church there. [Laughter] I would die. The first thing I want to do is get them to laugh. [Unclear 00.30.49] we came here in the beginning, 40 - when I turned 40 we started this church here and the first thing we had to do was start to have a party because everyone was serious and miserable. [Laughter] Had to learn how to laugh and have fun. Laughter and fun are part of the kingdom of God. We're called to have joy in the Holy Ghost. [Unclear 00.31.04] It's not helpful for you - so the Pharisees were like that. The Pharisees lived that way, and Jesus said here's your problem. You're concerned about every little performance of the law, this done right, that done right, this done right. But you miss everything that's really important to God, which is on the heart and on the inside. You miss the whole deal.