I have a wise mother. Beautiful, Holy Ghost filled, and the meekest human I know. She blessed me one day when she shared what God told her a long time ago,
“I am not looking for performers. I am looking for worshippers.”
I often share this life-giving word with friends, especially those who have gifts that put them in the front of crowds.
On a personal note, I am an instructor and community health educator, which always puts me before large groups of people to speak and demonstrate. I am a singer/songwriter and spoken word artist. I often sing original songs of worship and praise at churches, as well as recite original poetry at special events. The words my mother shared with me helps to keep pride away, and refreshes the necessity of authenticity in the forefront of my mind.
God is not impressed with how flawless your presentation is, but rather if it is done in Spirit and in truth. This is how we worship Him. You can be the best singer in the world, and even cover a song about Jesus, and yet you can walk off the stage without God having been glorified, and in His eyes you walk away unrecognized. Why? Because you can do things for selfishness, seeking vain glory. For you. In that moment you already have your reward. Applause. And it’s not His.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
When I talk about impression management, God reminds me that man is interested in manipulating and controlling how others think of him by shaping his own performance to get a desired response. But all that shaping may not be real. It may be a carefully constructed act, with all the props, costumes, and memorized lines. It may be everything to make for a successful, flawless performance, but it is rooted in lies and a lust for attention.
What God Wants
God wants us to simply be loving, truthful, merciful, righteous, forgiving, and authentic in Him and with others. This can only be done with the power of God dwelling on the inside. Pretending to be something you’re not while singing a spiritual song makes you a performer. Singing, playing an instrument, reciting poetry, painting a picture, etc., for the applause of man makes you a performer.
If we would spend more energy applying God’s Word so we can be acceptable in His sight, we’d see we cannot control what others think of us no matter how hard we try. We should remind ourselves to not perform for a crowd, but to use our gifts to edify one another and to glorify God.
Beloved, ask yourself these questions. Do you allow God to use you? Or do you use God by propping up yourself on a Christian platform?
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.