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Performance (3 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 9 of 10
You notice, because you're not living who you are. Who you are is generous! I love what Anna said: I love to give! It's fun to give! See, she's living out of being a giver. Oh, well what did God do for me this week? Maybe I'll give Him something. Listen, no, I'm a giver, that's who I am. That's why I give, because I am. My identity is that, therefore I do. My identity is this, therefore I do. My identity is I'm a child of God, therefore I talk to Him daily. My identity is an ambassador, so therefore I'm concerned about how I represent Him. It's because of who I am, not because of what you think, because there'll be times when you represent Christ and everyone hates you and turns on you - but you're still a wonderful person identified with Christ, His ambassador. Huh! See, so if you've got an issue with performance orientation here's a couple of things.

Number one, you need to acknowledge it's a disease that infects your whole life and relationships, because not only do you evaluate your identity on what you do; you evaluate everyone else the same way and it infects your relationships. You need to recognise it's a cancer of the soul. It is a cancer of the soul that eats out true faith and true identity. The first thing, I've got to acknowledge it and start to look how I'm behaving. The second thing I need to do is I need to actually repent of it. I need to come to face the unbelief in my heart. I haven't believed I'm accepted, I reckon I've got to do something to get there see? And I listen to people's language: how are you getting on? Oh, I'm getting there. I've arrived, I'm just enjoying the journey. [Laughs] Where are you getting? Well implicit in that statement 'I'm getting there' is I've got all these things I've got to try and get over and overcome and change and shift. Why can't you just enjoy being who you are and enjoy the journey?

So we've got to believe, and so that means I've got to change the beliefs in my heart, I've got abandon, repent and abandon the belief systems that keep me performing to get approval, performing to get accepted. We've got to abandon that stuff, so it may take a little time to figure out what you believe, and then you start to repent of it. The third thing is you actually need to acknowledge that because you've lived that way you are very resentful and angry inside. Oh, no I'm not. [Laughter] I tell you what'll flush it up: someone else getting really, I mean really, really blessed and they don't deserve it. It'll flush it up in you. That's why - the Prodigal Son. The son come home, he's wasted all his money, wasted his life; Oh dad, I'm sorry. Dad just loves him and blesses him, gives him a party - and the other son is furious! Hssss [laughter] resentful and angry. And notice when his dad comes out to talk to him what he says.

Well, I've served you all this time. I've never gone out and done this wild party living. You've never done this for me! You've never acknowledged me. You've never thanked me and appreciated me. I've been the good son instead of the bad son! Then this rotten son of yours, I'm - he's nothing to do with me! He's your son. He's come back and now you put a party on. What is up with you?! You understand, this man is totally oriented to performance and it always brings resentment and anger and religiosity. He was there, he could had everything. He never had it because of his attitude. He never understood the father's heart. The father said everything I've got is yours, why didn't you ask for something? I thought I had to work for it. There's your trouble.

Father in heaven, we just thank You right now, You're a God who's a gracious God, a loving God, oh a God who loves people. Oh Halleluiah, I just thank You love people. Jesus was declared by His enemies to be the friend of sinners. I want to be that kind of person Lord, I am that kind of person in You, in Christ. I'm a friend of God and I'm a friend of sinners. Father, I just thank You what You're showing us at this time about becoming really understanding and believing in our hearts who we are. Father, I pray for every person here that's struggling with this issue. I wonder if there's anyone here today and you're not yet a Christian, have never given your life to Christ. You're struggling as a broken person in the world without God, no sense of destiny, where your eternal purpose is; no sense of understanding of God's love for you and a relationship you could have with Him, so you're trying hard to look good.