Perfectionism is a trap.
Our world tells us “If you are going to do anything, then you must do it well!” This sentence started it all for me. The road to becoming a perfectionist came into play when I was a child. I heard this in school and it contributed/helped to form my understanding that if I took on a task and did not have the goal for it to be done perfectly, then the job was worthless. This is a lie. The job still had value!
My parents were without understanding regarding my report card, which revealed my level of achievement at my studies. My father read my report card and then would comment to me, “You have 3 As and 3 Bs. You can do better! I want to see all the Bs become As.” As hard as I would try, I never met the mark. I was a top student in second place always. My father always challenged me to be first. It never happened even though I gave it my best shot.
This attitude of perfectionism developed in me and I have unknowingly passed it along to my children. One of my daughter-in-laws calls this action as a high level work ethic. And now my grandchildren are following it as well. It is good to try to do your best, but the motive is the problem.
Perfectionism has been a source of many negative thoughts and actions in me. Upon reflection I recognized that it pointed me to compare myself with others instead of accepting everyone as they are. Worry and anxiety began to be in my daily reflections and actions. I had impatience towards myself and others to “just get it done!” I found myself “shoulding” myself when I did not do a task as well as I envisioned I would do it. As a compensation tactic for my imperfection, I began to be critical of myself and others. Perfectionism has provided many blocks for me to grow and learn about new healthier ways for living.
This attitude came to me during my childhood and continued until I was surrendered to Jesus Christ! I needed some answers to combat the perfectionism that had taken the throne of my life. I need to do daily surrenders, just like receiving manna daily.
Peace of mind comes from accepting what we can do nothing about our imperfect humanity and taking responsibility for what we can.
Today and every day, I pray for the wisdom that helps me know the difference.
I have learned and am still learning to be patient with everyone, but above all with myself . . . not to be disappointed by my imperfections, but always look to Jesus for fresh courage.
When I am worried by my own shortcomings, I will not correct them. I will be come a navel gazer and not look “up” to hear my answers.
Love manifested as self-care and service is my beginning.
When I have criticized myself on the outside, it is usually caused by the way I feel inside. When I measure myself by my physical appearance, I will always feel let down. Today Lord let me accept myself as a lovely person, inside and out.
We are all children of God, and He does not have a “teacher’s pet” relationship with anyone of us. He loves and completely accepts us with all our weaknesses. May I always know that from the first moment I admitted I was powerlessness, God provided me with the power needed: His Power.
My benchmark for being perfect is from Matthew 5:48
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
1 John 4:18 speaks of fear being a block to being perfect.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
2 Cor 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
So when I am powerless, it is good. I want God’s perfection, not my own, to be evident. He will provide the grace to reveal that His power is overcoming! When I am powerless and give Him room to work, the evidence is made clear. His perfect plan and will flow into me and my life. Glory to God!
My humanity is imperfect; it will never be made perfect. Only in the things of God, of the spiritual life, is there perfection in Jesus Christ! The spiritual act of loving with God’s power is the only area where there is perfection.
When I have died to my sin of perfectionism, which is rooted in pride, then Christ’s victory and power reigns and I am changed and strengthened. I have His Power when I am powerless.
Copyrighted (c) Gloria Winn, All rights reserved.