God’s Hope for Your Heart from Acts 3

THE WEIGHT OF PERFORMANCE ISN’T YOURS TO BEAR

And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? … [Jesus’] name—by faith in His name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.  (Acts 3:12, 16)

When people saw a lame man healed right in front of them, they were astonished.  Naturally, they looked at Peter and John as “miracle workers” because they had, in fact, just demonstrated a miracle.

Yet, Peter was quick to deflect the praise and redirect the credit to the one to whom it really belonged–Jesus.

The more God uses us to bless people, the easier it is to slip into the snare of believing our own publicity.  In our celebrity-obsessed culture, it can be tempting to start taking the credit for good things we’ve done, rather than remembering and reminding others it’s the power of Christ within us.

The problem is, credit always brings with it the weight of future expectations.

If you are the one doing wonderful things, then you’re on the hook to keep it up.  If you are the miracle worker, then the world will keep looking to you to produce more and more, until the day when you don’t come through for them, and they turn on you.

Jesus doesn’t want that for you.

When you cultivate a proper perspective, you’ll be able to receive praise graciously but still make sure the credit goes to God.  It’s not that you downplay your role, but rather that you lift up Jesus.  The great thing is that as people are continually reminded that any great thing you do is because of Christ, it means that you’re off the hook because Jesus is on the job.

As you receive compliments, let people know that any good in you is because of Jesus.  When you do, you’ll find out just how much hope can come from this truth: the weight of performance isn’t yours to bear.

-Pastor Phillip


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