My wife watches our youngest granddaughter 4 days a week. The little one is 10 months old and enjoys watching Mother Goose Club.
Over. And over. And over, again.
What the heck, she’s adorable and it is all about her, anyway.
What does this have to do with this “PBA” mentioned in the title?
I will tell you with the story of the Three Little Kittens. Hearing the several renditions of this old nursery rhyme made both me and my wife consider something about the story.
You know these kittens…the ones who lost their mittens. The story has to do with PBA. What is this “PBA”? I will get to that. Now, let’s remind ourselves of the old story.
Basics of Three Little Kittens
It goes like this…they lost their mittens, mother calls them ‘naughty kittens’ and they are not allowed any pie. I am not sure what kind of pie…looked like some kind of fruit, to me. My cats don’t care for fruit. As for mittens – cats have no thumbs. Maybe they were really baby tube socks.
Then, the little kittens find their mittens and their very pleased mother gives them pie. Problem here, is, they wore the mittens while eating the pie. They, thus, soiled said mittens, which rendered them as ‘naughty kittens’, once again.
Can’t threaten them with no pie…too late for that.
This has a big problem, though…Mom served them the pie. Did she not notice the mittens? Well, whatever.
The little creeps decided they would wash their mittens. This pleased Mother Dear, once again. With that, she noted she smelled a rat nearby. Okay, now kids. Don’t wear your mittens while mauling that rat. It will only start all over again.
By this point, you are wondering what this PBA is all about. Enough with these ignorant kittens.
PBA is Performance Based Approval.
Often, people are approved or disapproved based on their performance. Performance Based Approval is a serious issue within the Church. How we act, what we say, what we do or don’t do, what we wear, how we talk, etc., etc. There is more about pleasing others than there is in knowing that the Father is pleased with us.
The Father always approves of us. While I am pretty sure He is not so thrilled when we act contrary to His design or desire for us, He approves of us.
Parents…don’t you approve of your kids? Sure, they can be loud, disobedient, wall-coloring, sass-mouthed, fight-picking, booger-eating vermin. But, really…you totally approve of them. Not the booger part, just them. How much more does the Father approve of all of us?
In the Church, people are graded. How much they serve, what they do, how loudly they praise or how often they raise hands during worship. How we conduct ourselves determines whether we can head up a ministry or even serve in one, or in some churches, where we get to sit. Sure, there are things that we need to be wise about concerning certain issues. But, too many are put into some sort of confines of man-made rules.
Look who Jesus chose as His twelve. Judas was overly concerned about money, Peter was headstrong and had issues with Gentiles, James and John wanted to one-up each other and there was certainly a good share of argumentative questioning and doubt to go around. Jesus also ministered to countless people who had nothing to do with Him after they were healed, taught or fed.
He approved of every single one.
Really? Yes, He did.
Maybe we just need to get over ourselves or get off of our high horses.
God’s approval is not based on our performance. Why do we demand certain performance in order to approve of anyone?
What this breeds, most often, is behavior modification. People will act and talk in certain ways around their fellow Christians, whom they want to be approved by. They can’t be themselves, they can’t have a bad day, they can’t have a hole in their jeans which are frowned upon for wearing in the first place. They have to sing with a certain amount of apparent excitement, talk like life is one big victory, be sure to give tithes and offerings, have near perfect children, perfect hair and never be late to service.
All to win approval.
No. This is too much pressure for people.
Love and grace have no performance demands for approval. Say “No!”, to Performance Based Approval.
In this case, I do not support PBA.