From the Elijah House School for Prayer Ministry Basic I training manual:
”Performance orientation is a term that refers neither to the work we do nor the things we accomplish, but to the false motives, which propel us to do what we do. Once we bring performance orientation to death, we can find worth or value in who we are, not just in what we do.”I think that we can all relate to false motives ... things that drive us and compel us to do very religious things for all of the wrong reasons. I was once ... and sometimes am ... such a one. If you are interested in my journey read Confessions of a Charismatic Fundamentalist. Most of what I expound here I learned from my Elijah House training ... you can go to their website for more information.
Performance Orientation (PO) is something that is often learned very early in life. It shows up later in life with behaviors that are often identified with ‘people pleasing’, workaholism, compulsiveness, and self-righteousness ... to name a few. Early in life we are often given messages of conditional love and embrace a lifestyle of earning other’s love. A parent may confuse a child by combining the child's performance of good deeds with statements of affirmation and love ... and the child may not understand that the parent really loves them for who they are. This is problematic because the child grows up thinking that love is a reward for ‘being good’.
Many, when they come to Christ, come with PO. A person like this will often embrace the legalistic side of the scriptures and, like myself, live their faith out of a complex set of rules and principles. These live their faith lives not understanding that they are suppressing and covering over the good heart that they received at salvation. They live life from the head with ideas that their hearts cannot be trusted because they are deceitful. These folks will always gravitate to a black and white interpretation of the scripture because of the appeal to their head ... for the gray matters belong to the heart.
Healing for PO is a process of healing the heart. From the Elijah House manual:
”Healing will not come by our own efforts, nor by finding new and better ways to perform.If you identify with PO here are a few things to consider:
We must invite God to slay us, and let others minister to us.
Performance orientation requires relationship in order to be healed.”
- God loves you as you are ... you can’t do anything to make Him love you more.
- Wounds of your past may need to be addressed ... you might need some help to address these wounds.
- You may need to change the major influencers in your life ... people who continue to feed your PO are a part of the problem.
- Build relationships with people who accept you and see the best in you ... we all need encouragers.