I didn’t have to do any big performance to get forgiveness for my sins (what many people call getting saved). Don’t get me wrong. I’m not minimizing the need for forgiveness of sins. It’s vital and totally available through Christ Jesus. However…
The truth of “getting saved” is so much more that forgiveness of sins to guarantee a great after life! In fact forgiveness of sins is just the doorway to a great and glorious banquet room!
Most Christians realize that you can not perform your way into receiving forgiveness of sins. The performance anxiety many of us face has never been about the “initial step” of salvation.
The anxiety I’m referring to is fueled my a misunderstanding of the maturity process. It’s true that we are instructed to “work out” our own salvation with fear and trembling (probably also a misunderstanding of Philippians 2:12-13).
You see we are not only initially brought into God’s family by His free gift of grace. We are also kept, maintained, and watched over by grace though faith.
The flesh is bent on having to prove itself, it easily torments us with performance anxiety. What do I have to do! That’s one of the reasons that “self help” publications and conferences are so abundant – especially, it seems – “Christian” ones.
btw…as a side note…the Philippians verses say, “work out your OWN salvation, etc…” We are not called to work out anyone elses salvation for them. We are not called to even control others. On our best days we have enough trouble controlling ourselves.
We so often see ourselves as servants, not sons (or daughters). As paupers, not princes (or princesses). As workers not yet worthy for rest in Him.
Do we do stuff? Yes, as the grace of Jesus flows in our spiritual veins, we will be motivated to work His works. But not as a performance lest He be unhappy. Relax my brother or sister, you can’t gain one farthing of a miracle or anything else you need by the sweat of self performance.
Growing in grace is rooted in grace!
Pillow your head on the promises of God!
btw…why do we try to let others (and ourselves) set a higher standard of performance than God, Himself? Good question, eh? Probably need to work out the answer on that one.
Here’s another one. Why do we continue to be so driven by religious expectations of our past? Even, when we see the error.