Moving Beyond Performance for Acceptance and Love

Busyness and checking off our to-do lists have an espoused value in our time. Those that produce win. I wonder how many of us base our success for the week on how much we accomplish or how much we will not.

If anything, this season of lockdown and quarantine has slowed us down. The adrenaline has worn out for some of you as the hours of work cannot be sustained. For others, the pause of work has you questioning your self-worth. This season invites us to center on the areas of our lives that we derive our value.

The good news of the gospel says this — You are not what you do; you are what Jesus has done for you in His death and resurrection. Starting with Jesus, we no longer have to earn acceptance and love. Our security, worth, esteem, and need to matter come out of receiving from Jesus rather than earning.

Imagine living out that truth not just in following Jesus, but in your relationship with others? We begin to no longer ask people to give us what Jesus can provide us with. It redirects our attention to how we can love them with care and boundaries.

Often, living out the good news of the gospel rather than performance sounds theoretical. Terry Wardle, in his book, provides practical examples of living out Christ’s grace rather than performance:

God treasures you far more for who you are in Christ than what you could ever do for Him.

God intends for Christians to enter His rest, not burn out in pursuit of significance.

We are to obediently serve in the ways He calls us, trusting in His strength alone, not our own.

We are free to fail, not fearing God’s rejection. Even if we sin, repentance immediately restores full fellowship.

We must learn to say NO! While we are all called to serve somehow, somewhere, we are not obligated to serve in every way everywhere.

We can receive inner healing from wounds that set us on such a destructive course in the first place.

We must renew our minds, rejecting the lies of Satan, replacing them with the truth of God’s Word that says we are loved, unique, special, and significant through Christ Jesus our Lord!

Wounded By Terry Wardle, Page 81

Which one of these examples would be the most helpful for you today? Share in the comment section below.

Photo by Jay Mullings on Unsplash

PS — If you’re interested in finding out more about Terry Wardle, check out his interview on the Carey Nieuwhof podcast at

Originally published at on April 20, 2020.