“But I thought perfection was excellence and the Bible says we should be perfect so what could possibly be wrong with being a perfectionist?”
At any time of the year being a perfectionist can be a very real reality, but during the holidays it can be seen in our lives in full gear. That is why I started a whole month of reflection regarding the Superwoman phenomenon.
We were never created to strive for perfection apart from GOD’s Grace and Empowerment. The reality is the life we life in, the people we are and the situations we encounter will never be Perfect- not until the fullness of time when JESUS returns to the earth and we are with Him.
I personally believe the unfulfilling sinking hole in our hearts regarding the discrepancy between what is lacking and what is present is found in our subconscious awareness of the Garden of Eden should be.
In the meantime, as we wait to see the manifestation of Jesus’ words, “It is Finished” permeate our world, we must remove the pressure to self produce that Garden of Eden perfect picture once more.
The problem with perfectionism is it leaves us with tormenting feelings, starving us of joy and peace. We are very aware of trying to be “perfect” to please others, to be accepted and feeling like no matter what we do it is never enough for Somebody. But is that somebody JESUS?
Because if it is not, even if it is ourselves we are trying to please, we have a life of constant disappointment and unfilfilment before us- we are to live for the man who has already proven to love us No Matter What.
Maybe there have been times you have tried to let go of this perfect you to be your true self, broken by life, in need of a Savior, only to be met with the pain of feeling incomplete and rejected. Maybe people have placed you in a box expecting you to be the individual they have created in their minds. Or maybe you’re fed up with not being accepted for who you are, yet faced with the constant irony that if you let go of control, the pain will be too much.
Wherever you are today, even if you are finally in a Vulnerability zone, living as you truly are no matter what, but being constantly fought due to the determination to be yourself…GOD will give you strength to keep being You.
The reality is that when you let go of perfection and the need to please others, GOD will accept you and help you. GOD will work out or complete whatever you come short in and He will bring the people in your life who will embrace you for who you are.
It is such a joy to no longer have to “do it all” or “be it all” knowing that GOD has made us fearfully and wonderfully even in a fallen world.
There is a way to fix the wrong, but it is not in our own righteousness. It is not in our own efforts. When the Bible speaks of perfection that word can be interpreted completion. He completes us where we are lacking. He has come into our hearts to help us overcome these fallen areas- sickness, frustration, poverty, financial challenges, relational issues that we cannot seem to “fix.”
Do you have perfectionism issues in your life? Asking yourself the following questions will help you determine if you do:
1. Do you find it hard to make decisions?
2. Do you equivilate making mistakes with being in crisis?
3. Do you have standards that are incredibly too high for yourself?
4. Do you have standards which are practically impossible to meet for others?
5. Do you have standards too high to meet in your situations or circumstances?
6. Do you struggle with impatience?
7. Do you struggle with anger?
8. Do you have a performance mentality that says, “I must Do more or better because my identity is in what I do?”
9. Do you often feel that no matter what you do it’s never enough?
10. Do you go through feelings of failure, frustration or disappointment when you make a mistake?
11. Do you frequently feel disappointed with yourself, your environment or others?
12. Do you feel stressed out a lot or most of the time?
Perfectionism is defined as “a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable.” This is problematic when we are in the in between, patiently waiting for the answers to our prayers.
We know GOD has already done it and believe He will do it, but we must exude patience as we wait on the fulfillment of what we believe to manifest in the natural realm.
When we receive patience, accepting our current state- whether abased or abounding with patience we are finally able to find the balance between perfectionism and faith.
We are free to keep Biblical expectations to be perfect in the finished work of the cross, yet trust GOD worry free about the little mistakes and hang ups of this world.
We are liberated to let go of the stressful presence of what should be.
We are then able to rest our need for perfection in the hands of the only one who can help us!
We realize that it’s okay not to be perfect, to trust GOD in these areas, to let go of fear and to realize that no one is perfect apart from GOD.
Ways to Overcome Perfectionism:
1. Accept that people will hurt you because they are not perfect
2. Know that your best is enough even if it isn’t “perfect”
3. Ask for help where your resources and strength fall short
4. Make realistic schedules and goals for yourself
5. Celebrate every small victory in your life with rewards
6. Prioritize what is really important or worth “stressing over” then realize that nothing is stress worthy
7. Pray for the balance between wanting excellence and having unrealistic expectations on yourself
8. Allow room in your life for forgiveness of making mistakes and give yourself grace
9. Meditate on the righteousness of GOD. You are the righteousness of GOD
10. Understand your identity in Christ and refuse to place it anywhere else
11. Receive GOD’s Unconditional Love for you and repel condemnation
12. Be Vulnerable- Intentionally make small steps to share feelings you would normally hide, “bad” feelings like fear or being nervous- human emotions
All of these tools will help you make steps to overcome a perfectionist mentality obtaining peace of mind and true freedom to be yourself, mistakes and all!
Remember that in GOD’s Book you are more than enough and He says over you the same words He said over His beloved son, JESUS, “You are My beloved Son (Daughter) in whom I am well pleased.”
You do not have to be or do anything to receive His love or acceptance. He gave it to you as a free gift before you did anything for Him. And that free gift is there for you today!
Let’s leave room for the GOD Gap (His provision in our imperfection, His strength in our weakness, His supernatural in our natural).
Scriptures for Mediation: Today it is my prayer that we will all get closer to the GOD who loves us No Matter What, realizing that there may still be consequences for our sins but He will be there with us through the ups and downs. Please meditate on Psalm 139 with me:
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
GOD knows every part of our being and actions; He Joys in loving all of us as a kind Father does his children.
This is how you and I are loved:
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)
Let’s know today that we are loved in a way that Nothing can Separate us from His love, living in the freedom of this truth even through our current waiting process for everything to finally be Okay again.
Do you ever face the challenge of trying to “be perfect” for yourself or others? Perhaps you have tips on how you overcame and how to live in GOD’s unconditional love. Or maybe you need prayer. I’d love to help you through these challenges or receive your words of encouragement for others. Your story brings freedom to those in your former struggle! Blessings!