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Are You Struggling with Performance Syndrome?

Are You Struggling with Performance Syndrome?

Update: 2021-03-22



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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is March 22, 2021, and this is Episode #7 of Series 2021. This episode is titled "Are You Struggling with Performance Syndrome?"


The natural inclination of man is to perform in order to be approved. As we observe the many religions of the world, we notice that, except for Christianity, every religion teaches its followers that they must earn their salvation by doing good works. Only Christianity teaches that we can never earn our salvation. That is the reason Jesus Christ earned it for us and gave it to us as a love gift. The only thing we must do is accept His gift.

In the Book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul addresses this topic of trying to earn our salvation. After teaching the Galatians how to be saved through faith in Christ, Paul now finds them going back to their old ways of trying to earn God's approval through their good works. Let's listen in on what Paul says:

"You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes, Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?"

Paul was distressed that the Christians of Galatia had reverted back to their old ways of thinking and acting. 

When we are born again, we receive God's approval because of what Jesus did for us on Calvary, not because of anything we did. This is called grace. The first chapter of the Book of Ephesians, verse 6, reveals this truth to us: "He [God the Father] made us accepted in the Beloved {Jesus Christ]." (Brackets mine). 

Yet, so often, after we are born again, we find ourselves falling back into trying to earn God's approval through our good works. I call this the performance syndrome, and I would venture to say that we have all been guilty of it at one time or another, especially those of us who grew up in particularly legalistic environments.

Most of the time, we are unaware that this happened. Hence, Paul's use of the word "bewitched." "Bewitched" means to be under a spell. Strong's Concordance defines "bewitched" as follows: "to bring evil on one by feigning praise or an evil eye; to fascinate by false representations; to lead into evil doctrine." 

When one is bewitched, one is taken mentally captive and is unaware of his mental captivity. When we are bewitched, we are unaware that motives other than God's love have begun to corrupt our thinking. We begin to strive to earn God's approval. We become tense and fear-filled, wondering if we've measured up. We often feel condemned when we mess up. 

So, Paul calls the Galatians "foolish" not in the sense that they lacked intelligence,








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Are You Struggling with Performance Syndrome?

Are You Struggling with Performance Syndrome?

MaryAnn Diorio