In his Introduction to One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World, Tullian Tchividjian notes that the need for inexhaustible grace for an exhausted world never has been more urgent. Pastor Tchividjian further observes an unquestioning embrace of performancism in all sectors of life. He then offers his definition of performancism:
“Performancism is the mindset that equates our identity and value directly to our performance and accomplishments. Performancism casts achievement not as something we do or don’t do but as something we are or aren’t. . . . In the world of performancism, success equals life, and failure is tantamount to death.”
Tullian states that his doesn’t negate the importance of accomplishments. However, there is a difference between taking pride in what we do and worshipping it. Performancism causes us to live in a constant state of fear, anxiety, and resentment. Even the Christian church is not immune. While the sacrifice we make for Jesus is important, it is infinitely less important than the sacrifice Jesus has made for us.
Author Jerry Bridges perfectly summarizes this differentiation:
“My observation of Christianity is that most of us tend to base our relationship with God on our performance instead of His grace. If we’ve performed well- whatever ‘well’ is in our opinion- then we expect God to bless us. If we haven’t done so well, our expectations are reduced accordingly. In this sense, we live by works, rather than by grace. We are saved by grace, but we are living by the ‘sweat’ of our own performance.”
Today’s question: To what extent has performancism influenced your previous ministry or vocation? Please share.
Coming Tuesday: new Short Meditation- “Wanted: Dead and Alive”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Conditionality: a two-way street”