To perform is to go through or execute in the proper, customary, or established manner. Based on the above definition, a task can be performed, or I can portray a certain lifestyle without being influenced or committed to the task or lifestyle.
I can be a police officer, perform all the duties that are required of me and still not be the kind of officer whose desire is to serve and protect, I am only in it for a paycheck and when I take the uniform off, I walk completely away. I can act and perform in one manner and be an entirely distinctive person in my daily life. Some actor’s give such great performances that people have difficulty separating the actor from the character he is portraying.
Unfortunately, we live in a time where the church is full of performers; people who act one way on Sunday and live a totally different life when they are not in church. Solomon, the author of Proverbs, calls them “religious performers.”
“Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors means far more to God than religious performance.”
Proverbs 21:3 (MSG)
According to Solomon, God wants us to live clean lives, and to do what is right to others; He does not want religious performances. You may ask what does religious performance looks like? I don’t know what it looks like, only the person who is performing has an idea, and some have become good at pretending to be what they are not. But there are two things performance cannot hide, the fruit you produce and what comes out of your mouth.
The Bible says that a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit” Matthew 7:18. And what’s inside you is what defiles you, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders” Matthew 15:18-19.
So let’s all do a self-check, are you a religious performer or are you trying to live a clean life before God? Are you doing what is right to your neighbors? One final word from Proverbs 4:23 – “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”
Stop the performance, it’s time to see the real you!