One of the worldly traps to which I have fallen victim is the Performance Trap. Here in the final chapters of my life, I discover there have been many a goal I have chased--for temporary gain. When we begin to place our self worth on our next achievement, we begin the slide down the slippery slope to despair. For you see, there is always one more hurdle to jump, one more golden ring, one more award, one more achievement in the never ending treadmill leading to absolutely nowhere. I have allowed man's approval to become my drug of choice to which I am addicted. No matter how much approval I get, I always want more. "When we evaluate ourselves by our performance, we're ultimately going to lose, no matter how successful we are at the moment."
It has not been enough to chase the elusive laurel wreath of victory in one area, I have turned virtually every area of my life into a competition against myself. Whatever I have achieved today is soon over shadowed by the next one more thing. Putting all my apples in the performance basket has lead to a basket full of rotting apples destined for the garbage heap of forgotten ribbons, trophies, and medals.
Bottom line, my quest for man's approval has become my golden idol. "Consciously or unconsciously, all of us have experienced this feeling that we must meet certain arbitrary standards to attain self-worth. Failure to do so threatens our security and significance." I have lost my way as I aimlessly stroll down the path in search for acceptance and significance.
I have forgotten The One to whom I am most significant. God's truth is reliable and His Word is filled with the assurance of His love for us. "God's truth is the only reality that can help our thinking to be conformed to His, so that our self-esteem is based on how He values us." In layman's terms, God loves us first and best. Man's approval is fleeting and temporary, but God's approval is eternal.
For am I now seeking the favor 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 bond-servant of Christ.