As a type A person, I am all about getting things done. I constantly have a to-do list I’m working toward crossing off. I feel like I’m being productive and wise with my time if I am doing something. However, I have been learning that the enemy likes to use busyness to keep us from being effective in loving and serving others. We think we’re doing good things, but I often find that if my focus is on my to-do list then I am not making time to connect or interact with others. At the end of the day I may have cleaned the house, but I didn’t have any meaningful relational interactions with friends and family.
I have been trying to scale back on activities so that there is plenty of room for spontaneity or interruptions of my plans. I want to be able to answer a phone call or text from a friend or sit down and read a book or play Legos with my kids without it feeling like a disruption to my day. It’s certainly not a poor use of my time even though the enemy tries to make me think so.
This morning while journaling during my quiet time with God, the following statement emerged:
Your worth is not determined by your performance.
It struck me and made me pause in my journaling time. This is a truth I struggle with often. I know in my mind that I am loved regardless of my behavior. I am loved just because I am a creation of God’s. But often times my behavior does not reflect this truth. I can get caught up in trying to do things to please God, or perhaps be worthy of his love and grace. I don’t need to. I cannot be loved more or less than I already am. I can stop trying to impress God or other people.
I know some of my efforts are to prove to others that I am a good Christian, whatever that means. It feels like there’s an invisible bar I’m trying to reach in order to win the favor of others. This is impossible and yet another trap of the devil. He wants me to be endlessly striving, wearing myself out trying to achieve something that is unachievable. Nothing I do can every make every single person like me or approve of me. There will always be people who choose to judge me negatively. I cannot control others’ perceptions of me. What I can do is rest in the knowledge that I am already loved and approved by the one who made me and knows me most intimately.
Am I now seeking the approval of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.