Friday, July 2, 2010

Giving Up Perfect?

I have been anxious lately. The reasons are too many to count, but it all came to a head on Wednesday. As a result, within one hour, three different loved ones individually challenge me to remember that I'm not perfect, I don't have to be perfect, this world is not perfect, and that all this is OK.

What was strange to me about their comments is that I hadn't been noticing a pursuit of perfectionism in my life. And yet, to hear this challenge from three different sets of lips, each unaware that anyone else had already said something similar, tells me that others see the quest for perfection in me.

This leaves me in awe and wondering. So this week I'm exploring exactly what God has to say about perfection. I'll post yesterday's and today's highlights, then won't have computer access for a few days but will keep studying and be back to share soon.

July 1:
Looked at Deuteronomy 32:3-4, 2 Samuel 22 (esp. vs. 31-33), Psalm 19:7-8

Conclusion: God's perfection revives the soul and brings joy to my heart. My quest for perfection brings anxiety.

Prayer: Lord, please teach me to rest in you and let go of my own quest for perfect.

July 2:
Looked at Isaiah 26:3-4, Matthew 5:33-48 (esp. 48)

Conclusion: God commands me to “be perfect”. So what's wrong with perfectionism then? I think it must be motive that God's getting at here. He instructs in specifics of how I am to stand out from the world around me and the why is so that others will see Him reflected in and through me. I can't strive for perfection for perfections' sake. I can strive to live like Christ for the sake of love and out of that flows a more Christ-like life.

Prayer: Father, teach me to let go of my illusions of control that stress me to the breaking point, and instead let me put all that energy into loving my children, my husband, my friends, with your love. I want my heart to be pure before you, bathed in the perfection of your Son's blood. Let me do what I do to your honor and glory, not for the sake of perfection, but for your pleasure, thus bringing me joy, not stress, along the way.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

Jenni, this is nice and speaks to my heart. I have had to learn this lesson because of my health limitations, and other things. I have this idea of trying to make God look good because I have it so "together" when the truth is, I need to show the love of Christ to others. THAT is what attracts people to Jesus. I have to always come back to this fact I just wish it happened more naturally and intuitively. Thank you for reminding me of this fact, and you are a great example of it. (hugs and blessings upon you!)