Performance pressure. It can shut us down in a hot minute.
I have always loved people, but I used to get very nervous at parties or gatherings where I didn’t know all the guests.
I asked God to help me with this. “Lord, help me not feel crazy. Help me not feel terrified. How do I talk to people and really communicate? Help me connect in a healthy way that is not show-offy or guarded. What’s the healthy, Godly place in the middle?”
And He said, “Go in to serve.”
And I saw myself at a wedding I would soon be attending, straightening napkins and dishes at a serving table. I said, “But Lord, they have hired people to do that. Won’t that be weird?”
He said, “There is never enough help at an event like that. Go in to serve, and you will be appreciated by everyone who sees you, from the mother of the bride to the caterer they hired.”
It was an “aha” moment for me.
Serving to please God takes the pressure off of performing. It is your secret weapon against stage fright or performance pressure of any kind.
I did go to that wedding, and I did serve a little bit, but not much because I got too busy having fun. We talked and danced and laughed all night.
But going in with the *attitude of a servant* relieved me of wondering what was going to be expected of me.
Serving to please God takes the pressure off of performing.
There is never enough help. There is never too much love or consideration being shown. Serving means we don’t have to engage in arguments. We don’t have to win. We don’t have to be top dog. We don’t have to strive to be noticed, or perfect, or worry if we hit the mark, or say the wrong thing.
If He says ‘say it,” then say it. If He says “do it”, then do it. Showing up to serve means we don’t have to fear criticism, or judgement, or competition.
No matter what your platform is, from the big screen or the stage, to taking care of toddlers or just living in your community, showing up to serve relieves expectation and pressure.
Servants don’t worry about what others think, they just do what they were called to the platform to do.
Showing up to serve means we don’t have to fear criticism, or judgement, or competition.
I knew what God expected of me at that wedding, and that was enough. It freed me. I wasn’t going to have to be brilliant in conversation or an expert on wedding etiquette, I just had to watch for trash on the ground or someone needing help with their plate or napkins that needed straightening.
I could do that.
Since then, any time I feel nervous or inadequate, or even bored or uninspired, I say to myself, “Go in to serve.” Could be parties or events, but also when I’m asked to speak to a group or when I’m writing.
When I approach writing with the pressure of creating a masterpiece, I want to quit before I ever get started.
Other times–I feel completely out of ideas, like I have nothing to say at all.
But when I ask God to show me how to write as a servant, how to let the words reach out in love and minister to the hearts of those who need His touch, the message becomes simplified and so much more clear.
All the questions of performance boil down to one in the heart of a servant: Am I loving well for His sake?
Am I loving well for His sake?
It’s a brilliant tactic that Jesus teaches us as our Servant King.
Service done well, with excellence and awareness and humility and care, is so rare in this world, that when someone serves, truly lowers themselves to serve another person and do it with grace, it gets noticed. It gets favor. It gets promoted.
Going in to serve.
So much simpler this way.
I pray God guides your head, heart, and hands as you serve. I pray He reminds you of the beautiful freedom of being a servant.
Serve one another humbly in love. Gal5:13b
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Cor3:13