Are You Struggling with Performance Syndrome?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post on podcast.

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is March 22, 2021, and this is Episode #7 of Series 2021. This episode is titled “Are You Struggling with Performance Syndrome?”

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The natural inclination of man is to perform in order to be approved. As we observe the many religions of the world, we notice that, except for Christianity, every religion teaches its followers that they must earn their salvation by doing good works. Only Christianity teaches that we can never earn our salvation. That is the reason Jesus Christ earned it for us and gave it to us as a love gift. The only thing we must do is accept His gift.

In the Book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul addresses this topic of trying to earn our salvation. After teaching the Galatians how to be saved through faith in Christ, Paul now finds them going back to their old ways of trying to earn God’s approval through their good works. Let’s listen in on what Paul says:

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes, Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”

Paul was distressed that the Christians of Galatia had reverted back to their old ways of thinking and acting. 

When we are born again, we receive God’s approval because of what Jesus did for us on Calvary, not because of anything we did. This is called grace. The first chapter of the Book of Ephesians, verse 6, reveals this truth to us: “He [God the Father] made us accepted in the Beloved {Jesus Christ].” (Brackets mine). 

Yet, so often, after we are born again, we find ourselves falling back into trying to earn God’s approval through our good works. I call this the performance syndrome, and I would venture to say that we have all been guilty of it at one time or another, especially those of us who grew up in particularly legalistic environments.

Most of the time, we are unaware that this happened. Hence, Paul’s use of the word “bewitched.” “Bewitched” means to be under a spell. Strong’s Concordance defines “bewitched” as follows: “to bring evil on one by feigning praise or an evil eye; to fascinate by false representations; to lead into evil doctrine.” 

When one is bewitched, one is taken mentally captive and is unaware of his mental captivity. When we are bewitched, we are unaware that motives other than God’s love have begun to corrupt our thinking. We begin to strive to earn God’s approval. We become tense and fear-filled, wondering if we’ve measured up. We often feel condemned when we mess up. 

So, Paul calls the Galatians “foolish” not in the sense that they lacked intelligence, but in the sense that they should have known better than to revert from a grace mentality to a works mentality. Paul Himself had taught them the truth about salvation, the truth that they had been saved only by faith. But they failed to live according to that truth.

Instead, they were acting as though they had been cast under a spell. Paul did not mean this literally, of course. He was referring to the culture of Galatia. The Galatians believed in what they called the evil eye. They believed that if someone looked into the evil eye, that person would be placed under a spell.

So Paul is warning the Galatians to stop looking into the evil eye of the doctrine that taught they could be saved by their works. Instead, Paul admonished the Galatians to keep their eyes focused steadfastly on Jesus. When we see Jesus clearly before us, we won’t be deceived.

The Galatians were guilty of performance syndrome.” Performance syndrome describes not so much the actions we perform as much as it describes the motives with which we perform them. We can perform the same actions because we love God or because we want to earn His love. The actions are the same, but the motives are different. 

Performance syndrome usually starts in childhood. It starts with lies we accept as truth, lies that lodge in our subconscious mind and affect us throughout our lives, unless we get rid of them. 

What are some of these lies? Here are a few we can start believing in childhood:

__If I don’t behave, Daddy and Mommy won’t love me.
__If I don’t do well in school, my parents won’t accept me.
__If my parents argue–or get divorced–it’s my fault.

Lies such as these become embedded in our subconscious mind. We begin to connect love and acceptance with performance. If we perform well, we will be loved and accepted. If we don’t perform well, we won’t.

After we’re born again, we begin to do the same thing with God. We begin to view God as we viewed our parents. We begin to think that in order to be loved and accepted by God, we must perform for Him. In other words, we need to earn His love and acceptance by what we do.  In short, we believe we must be perfect.

When performance syndrome rules our lives, we have no peace. We constantly strive to meet a standard, not realizing that the standard we are trying to meet can never be met by any human being.

But, praise the Lord, that standard was met in full by Jesus Christ. When we receive Him into our lives, we receive perfect, unconditional love and acceptance.

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“Jesus Christ earned our salvation for us and gave it to us as a love gift. The only thing we must do is accept His gift.” 
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Have you received Jesus Christ into your life? If not, I urge you to do so now. He will free you from performance syndrome, perfectionism, and ever other form of bondage in your life. Pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I want to be free of performance syndrome and perfectionism. But You are the only One Who can set me free. So, I ask You now to come into my life. I receive You as my personal Savior and the Lord of my life. Forgive me of my sins. Create in me a clean heart. In Your Precious Name, I ask and receive. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer sincerely, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a free e-booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He teaches you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers. It is critically important in these last days to fellowship with other believers who are mature in Christ and can guide you as you grow in Him.

If you are not yet a subscriber to the Winning with the Word blog and podcast, I urge you to click on the link below to subscribe now so you will not miss a single weekly episode:

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Please tell your family and friends about “Winning with the Word,” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

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Now it’s your turn: How do you avoid the evil heart conditions the Bible describes? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you.

Photo Source: Gerd Altmann (Pixabay)
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For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. I encourage you to visit my website bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table . 

This podcast is funded by listeners like you. If you have been blessed by Winning with the Word, I invite you to become one of my special patrons on Patreon.com. For only $1.00, $3.00, or $5.00 a month, you can help me proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

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I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. I could not do this without you!

Finally, be sure to check out my latest book, The Iron Saint. This book talks about the coming persecution of the Church and how you can prepare for it. The Iron Saint is available on Amazon and on my website at maryanndiorio.com/book-table. Get a copy for your pastor as well. 

Until next time, remember that God loves you just as you are and just where you are and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word

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Photo Source: Jan Alexander, Pixabay

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Featured Book of the Week:  THE IRON SAINT by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

The Church in America is on the verge of a tremendous spiritual awakening, an awakening that will first be fueled by persecution unlike anything we have ever seen before in this land. Indeed, a prophetic word given in my home church during the month of November gave this warning to the Church: “Prepare for the fire of persecution!”

But the Church is not ready for this persecution. For the most part, the Church in America has been weak and lukewarm. Flabby and lazy. Consumed with the world and not with the things of God. As a result, the Church has been deceived and has subverted the divine order of things.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. MaryAnn Diorio seeks to help equip the saints for the work of true, integritous, and effective ministry. As a teacher in the Body of Christ, it is her burning desire to help correct this devastating error.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. Diorio has outlined a plan of action for strengthening the Church through uncompromising obedience to the Word of God. This plan of action is based on her own 50 years of walking with the Lord and being led by His Holy Spirit.

If you are a born-again believer and member of the Body of Christ, make this book a top reading priority.

PRINT FORMAT

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Check out these popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

__The Privilege of Persecution

__How to Think like a Winner

__7 Signs That the Tribulation Is at Hand

 Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To subscribe to Winning with the Wordclick here.

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Copyright 2000-2021 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

How to Enter the Rest of God

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here. 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

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Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:

 

 

 

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, March 30, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #13 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Enter the Rest of God”.

Most of us have heard the quote that “desperate times call for desperate measures.” It is believed that the quote originated with the Greek physician Hippocrates. Regardless, it is a quote applicable to our day.

With the rapid global spread of the Corona virus, and with no cure yet, it can be said that we are, indeed, living in desperate times. Desperate not only physically, but also financially, emotionally, and psychologically.

So, what is a body to do?

While the problem may be complex, the solution is simple. What are we to do? We are to rest in the Lord.

What does it mean to rest? An Internet search discloses the following definitions for the word “rest”:

1.  To be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position; rest on/upon.
2.  To be based on or grounded in; depend on.

How do these definitions relate to resting in the Lord?  Well, using the first definition as a model, resting in the Lord means to be supported by Him, to lean on Him, so that we can stay in the position of peace. Using the second definition, resting in the Lord means to be grounded in Him and to depend on Him.

Resting in the Lord may be easy to do when things are going well, but when things are going crazy, it is far more difficult to rest in the Lord. 

You see, when things are going well, we become self-reliant. We feel as though we are in control of matters and that nothing can change without our changing it. But the experience of recent days proves that such thinking is a delusion. We are no more in control of our lives than we are in control of the universe. God is in ultimate control, and He ultimately calls the shots.

At the same time, God does not leave us powerless. He wants us to draw our power from Him. In short, He wants us to rest in Him. To trust that He will be there for us, even in the worst of storms.

In Hebrews 4: 11, the Bible commands us to enter into God’s rest. Listen to what it says: “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” This verse instructs us to “labour” or “work” to enter God’s rest. This sounds like a contradiction, but it is not. It takes effort to enter God’s rest. That effort involves getting to know God and His character so that we can grow in trusting Him. 
 

The rest of God is the peace of God. It is the place of total, unwavering trust in God. How do we get there? By getting to know God. You see, trust comes from knowledge. We do not trust people we do not know. The people we trust the most are the people we know best.

So it is with God. Our level of trust in God will correspond to our level of knowledge of God’s character. So if you want to enter into God’s rest, get to know God intimately.
 
How can you get to know God? By accepting His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to get to know God the Father. Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father” (John 14: 9). Jesus also said, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14: 6).

If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, I urge you to do so now by praying this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I need You to save me. I cannot save myself. I repent of my sins and ask You to forgive me. I invite You into my life to be my Savior and my Lord. Lead me to the place of perfect rest in You. I pray, believe, and receive in Your Name. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your relationship with Jesus Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every day, starting in the Gospel of John, which is in the second half of the Bible. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In it, He reveals Who He is. In it He reveals His infinite love for you. In it, He reveals His rest.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and find fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about some of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. As a token of my deep appreciation for all of you who follow this blog and podcast, I want to give you a FREE ebook copy of my popular novel, The Madonna of Pisano, the first book in my trilogy titled The Italian Chronicles. To receive your FREE ebook copy, please go to the link listed at the end of this post. For those of you who are listening, the link is: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/705659

Note that this offer is valid only until April 30th, so get your free ebook copy now before you forget!


I also invite you to visit my website at https://www.maryanndiorio.com/book-table. There you will find a complete list of the novels, novellas, and short stories I have written about characters with problems like yours.

On my website, you will also find additional resources, articles, non-fiction books, and podcasts to help you grow in your walk with Christ.

If you have been blessed by these messages, I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for my patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join. This podcast is being sponsored by my wonderful husband and patron, Dr. Dominic Diorio. Thank you, Honey, for faithfully supporting the work of the Lord through this podcast.

And to all of you wonderful listeners out there, thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on winning with the Word.

To subscribe to “Winning with the Word”, click here.

To receive my monthly newsletter, click here.

 

Listen to the podcast here:

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Now it’s your turn: Have you entered the rest of God? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

PLEASE TWEET: “How to Enter the Rest of God!” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

Please tell your family and friends about “Winning with the Word,” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

__You Are ALREADY HEALED!

__The Dangers of the Enneagram

__Is the World Coming to an End?

__The Coming Global Cataclysm

__Is Your Tongue Ruining Your Life?

__A Parent’s Promise from God

 Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To subscribe to Winning with the Word, click here.

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Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

The Controlling Heart

Do you have a controlling heart?  Or, perhaps, you know someone who does. Whichever the case, a controlling heart can cause major problems both for the one doing the controlling and the one allowing himself to be controlled.

What are some of the characteristics of a controlling heart?  Here are a few of the most common:

  • Controlling people want to dictate how everything around them is done. They nag and insist on their own way of doing things.
  • Controlling people are unable to admit their mistakes. They have to be right and refuse to listen to constructive criticism that could set them free from the spirit of control.
  • Controlling people assume authority without being asked and without the spiritual or legal right to do so. They may interrupt a meeting and simply take over, or they may make a decision they have no authority to make.
  • Controlling people micro-manage their spouses, their children, their friends, and their co-workers. They offer advice without being asked.
  • Controlling people are manipulative. They often use charm to get their own way.
  • Controlling people are narcissistic, selfish, and very immature. They believe their way is the best way. They will not consider the opinions of others as being as valid as their own.

Usually one of two evil spirits lies at the root of a controlling personality: 1) the spirit of power or 2) the spirit of fear.  Some controlling people have a sick need to dominate others and will attempt to bully them into complying with their wishes.  Other controlling people operate out of fear that if they do not hold the reins, their world will fall apart. In my experience, most controlling people are motivated by fear.  Both spirits of control will, if not confronted, destroy relationships, families, churches, and organizations.

Control issues usually start in early childhood because of a home environment that, in some way, failed to make the child feel secure.  As a result, the child developed a method of coping with anxiety by attempting to control his environment. What the controlling person fails to realize is that control is an illusion that inhibits healthful growth and fosters bondage. While authority is ordained of God, a controlling person abuses that authority to the detriment of himself and others.

People with controlling spirits are usually very insecure and have serious codependency issues. This means that they need to control others in order to feel safe and secure themselves. Especially challenging are controlling persons in positions of authority. I have seen organizations split or fail to full their destiny because of a controlling person who either led the organization or led the leader of the organization.

If you struggle with a controlling personality, get help. If you are the victim of a controlling personality, get help to free yourself in the proper way. 

God made us to be free within the confines of His Word. He who seeks to control another is assuming a role attributable only to God. Doing so is nothing short of idolatry.

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

(Attitude) Dealing with Overwhelm

The 21st century with all of its technological discoveries has engendered a new disorder called Overwhelm. Grammatically speaking, “overwhelm” is a verb, not a noun.  But the case is strong for making it a noun as well.

If overwhelm were a noun, I would define it as an excessive amount of emotional and psychological input creating the feeling that one is being buried under it. (I welcome your definition.)

With that definition in mind, how can we deal with overwhelm?  Here are a few tips that have helped me:

1) Spend time with God every day seeking His will and direction for your life. Years ago, when I was struggling with overwhelm, our Lord said this to me: “You always have enough time to do what I have called you to do.”  Our Lord’s words made me realize that I was involved in some good activities that He had not called me to be involved in.  So, if you have too much on your plate, you are doing some things that God does not want you to do. Eliminate them.

2) Streamline your environment. Get rid of everything that is contributing to your overwhelm. Recently, I cleared out hundreds of books from my library, books that I will never read again and that will provide benefit to others. Not only did I clear out my house, but I also cleared out my mind.

3) Take time to regroup each day. Sometimes we experience overwhelm simply because we do not take the time to nurture ourselves. Women are especially guilty of this. So give yourself the gift of ten minutes a day just for you to do something you love to do.

Remember that you can control overwhelm. By following the three simple steps above, you will find yourself breathing freely again.
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Copyright 2013 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.