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That Was A Lousy Performance

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That Was A Lousy Performance

per·for·mance

n.

1. The act of performing or the state of being performed.

2. The act or style of performing a work or role before an audience.

3. The way in which someone or something functions.

4. A presentation, especially a theatrical one, before an audience.

5. Something performed; an accomplishment.

Our carnal minds are impressed with performance, be it speed, strength or skill. We use words like ‘Awesome’ to describe a ‘performance’ we enjoyed.

All of us love a song and a singer that pleases our ears. The skillful playing of an instrument fascinates us. It is easy for us to go away feeling awed because of the performance of the musician, singer or speaker.

It’s not that it’s so wrong. It’s actually very normal. Even the Psalmist said in Psalms. 33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

From this scripture, it even looks like heaven enjoys a good performance.

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Yet it’s possible that we bring that mindset over into the area of preaching, testifying and special singing.

Nothing deflates our ego any quicker than to feel like we weren’t at our best, or that the crowd response was less than we’d hoped for.

Most every preacher knows what’s it’s like to want to just leave the building as soon as he finished a sermon that didn’t ‘go over’ well. There have been times when a trap door hidden behind the pulpit seemed like a good idea to me.

I’ve seen young singers cry after they went down off of the platform because their song didn’t come out as good as they’d planned.

The devil has told some that stood and testified in a church service that they had made a mess of their testimony and they should never testify again.

Remember the story of the Sower? (Actually the parable is more about the soil than the sower.)

He sowed everywhere he could on his property. He didn’t get good results everywhere. Nevertheless he was faithful in the sowing of the seed.

Performance never entered his mind when he walked into the field that morning. It didn’t make any difference if he sowed with his right hand or his left hand. All he had to do to get a crop was sow the seed. He was just going to sow the seed until he had planted everywhere he could.  The power was in the seed, not in him.

If he had sown the seed in our present day ‘church’ fields, we would have expected him to jump up about 2 feet high, click his heels and then power slam the seed into the ground. People would have stood to their feet and screamed ‘Amen’ and maybe a few even run the aisles.

Then all of the critics of sowers would have said, “Man, that’s really sowing the seed! That’s the kind of seed sowing we like around here. He really did an awesome job of sowing the seed.”

We’re so afraid someone will think or say, “That was a lousy performance.” We would be devastated because we are conditioned with a performance mindset.

Yet all of us know that performance has nothing to do with the sowing of the seed. In actuality it may even slow down the process. If the sowing of the seed has to wait until we get done with our performance then heaven may not be pleased.

All the sower has to do is just let go of the seed. Nature and the seed take over from there. He did his job. It didn’t have to be pretty. It didn’t have to be powerful. It didn’t have to be exciting. It just had to be released.

I’m not calling for an end to good preaching and singing. Neither am I asking for any of us to not do our best. What I am asking for is for you to not be disheartened by your own sense of ‘failure’ when your ‘performance’ doesn’t turn out like you wanted. Remember. You are sowing the seed. Seed sowing doesn’t require performance to be effective.

Just sow the seed. Sow it in a song, sow it in a testimony or sow it in a sermon. Forget about performance. Don’t let Satan steal your song, shut your mouth or make you discouraged. When it leaves your hands, God takes over.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 9, 2010 at 10:02 pm