Ninety percent of the girls we surveyed for LYWB said they are or have been plagued by the lie that they have to perform to be loved and accepted. Some of them felt that their value was tied to their ability to be star athletes or students. Others were striving to earn the approval of their pastors or youth pastors by being super-Christians, involved in too many church activities. Many, many of the young women we talked to admitted that they felt the need to be good enough to earn God’s favor. Believing this lie left them feeling exhausted and like they were constantly falling short.
God’s Word douses this lie with a serious dose of Truth! Listen to Ephesians 1:3-5. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.”
According to these verses, when did God’s love for us begin? That’s right! He loved us before the foundations of the world were set. Before we were born. Before we could even breathe in and out, much less do great things for Him. His love for you is not based on your ability to perform.
But what about man? It is very likely, that the feeling that everyone is judging you based on your performance isn’t based in fact. But we do live in a culture that values achievement. In this area it is so important to have perspective. God’s love for you and His affirmation of your value are spelled out clearly in Scripture. Even if the people around you don’t see it, you have worth! And it isn’t dependant on what you are able to achieve.
Maybe you aren’t wresting with lies about performance. Maybe you feel like your value is tied to your beauty or your ability to attract attention from a certain boy. As I’ve been thinking about these lies this week, I wanted to issue you a challenge—an action step to help you dig the root of deception out of your hearts. This same challenge can be found in the LYWB Companion Guide. Check it out.
“For your action step this week, let’s tackle one area where you are fueling lies in your thinking. If it is the television in your bedroom that allows you to watch shows that are unholy, take it out. Don’t just put it somewhere where you can easily retrieve it the next time you’re bored. Get rid of it! Have a yard sale. Donate it to Goodwill. If a certain magazine is causing your to stumble, rip it up. Cancel your subscription.
If it is performance that makes you feel value, take a week-long fast from doing what you perceive is your value. Be willing to take radical steps if needed. Get a note from your parents to take a week off from piano lessons or give your basketball shoes to your pastor’s wife for safekeeping. Do what you have to do to stop being consumed by performance” (Lies Young Women Believe Companion Guide, 61).
I’m going to take this challenge right along with you. If I am being honest, I admit that I often try to earn my significance to God and to the people around me through church work. Instead of being motivated by a desire to serve, I am all too often motivated by a desire for recognition. So, I’m taking a break. For one week, I am going to continue to attend regular church services, but drop some of my obligations. A friend of mine is going to teach the girl’s Bible study I usually lead. Someone else will be cooking breakfast for the youth Sunday school class and I won’t be planning the games for Wednesday night youth group (these are usually my responsibilities). I predict that God’s love for me won’t waver and other’s won’t mind the more rested, less stressed and stretched version of me.
What about you? What is one area where you can take action this week? We’d love to hear about it.