Pride is at the root of performance Christianity. Pride drives performancism. It puts me at the center of my life and my identity gets wrapped up in my performance. My sanctification takes center stage in performancism and I start to think that my sanctification is the focus of the Christian life. In performancism, I find my identity and worth in myself and how I’m doing at any given moment, instead of in God. In performance Christianity, my sanctification is at the center of my Christian experience.
Building my identity and sense of worth on my performance and sanctification instead of on Jesus and his grace, is idolatry. It’s putting something other than Jesus at the center of my life and finding my identity there. It’s allowing my performance to measure me instead of resting in the finished work of Jesus in my place. It’s turning John the Baptist’s words on their head and insisting instead that “I must increase” (John 3:30). Performancism is prideful self-idolatry.