Perfectionism is defined as: “ perfection
YIKES! What a way to live! The need to strive and meet all the standards of “those” people out there. If that was the case, then I have to be the perfect Christian, perfect wife, perfect mom, perfect child, perfect teacher, perfect sibling, perfect friend, perfect weight, perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect house, perfect organizer, perfect graphic designer, perfect home-maker, perfect worker, perfect blogger, perfect look, perfect cook and the list can go on and on. How can I juggle being PERFECT in all of that? I don’t know about you, but I am nowhere close to being perfect in any one of this areas.
Maybe you struggle with perfectionism like I have (and at times still do), and are getting worn out of trying to strive to be perfect in every of your life.
When I am battling perfectionism, I need to see it for what it really is- a disease, a cancer that is eating away at the core of my soul. For perfectionism to thrive within me, it will trick me to believe I am not enough. If I believe that single truth, then it begins to pull me down into the Pit of Perfectionism.
When I feel myself being pulled into the Pit of Perfectionism I usually feel one of these five things:
- Critical of myself
- Critical of others
- Disobedient to the Lord- due to fear and insecurity of what others might think
- A need to please people, not God (maybe not intentionally, but that is end result)
Perfectionism is a truly a selfish act. It is all based on ME, not Jesus and all that He sacrificed for me to live the life He has for me. Perfectionism makes me depend on my strength, not His.
How can we break the need to be PERFECT?
Let’s answer these 2 questions:
- Where does the perfectionistic lie come from? Sometimes the lies come from within our own thinking or recordings of what we have been told since childhood. Some of us have been trained to doubt who God made us and hate our imperfections that make us as unique individuals. Maybe it was a parent, teacher, friend or even a spouse. Either way, we need to identify where the lie originated so we can then shine the light of truth on it. For example, as a child, I believed God did not love me, so I had to try to be perfect to attain His love. Why did I believe that and where did the lie come from? From my childhood the lie originated. As a child I was abused and did not think God loved me since he allowed it to happen to me. Once I figured it out, I began to dig into God’s word and start to declare God’s word on how much He truly loves me just as I am.
- Who is truly behind our perfectionism? This might sound mean, but please hear me, Satan loves to hate us! I know that sounds terrible, but it is the truth. Our adversary, Satan, has no truth in him, and he will constantly attempt to pull us down with perfectionism as long as we allow him. The only way to STOP him is to speak out God’s truth out loud – right then – right now! After you do that then he must be silenced!
“He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44b)
- YOU are not enough
- You will never be good enough so keep striving
- YOU are your mistakes
- YOU are not allowed to mess up
- YOU can not forgive yourself
- YOU need to strive more and more
- YOU can never get it right
- No one will ever accept YOU…if they really knew the real YOU
- YOU are alone in this mess
- YOU are not as good as ___so and so___, so give up
- God’s Grace is not sufficient for YOU
When we let perfectionism go, then striving ceases to be our #1 main goal. When we do that, we can live in freedom from what other’s think. When we do that we can walk in the grace of Jesus.
Dear friend, get out of the Pit of Perfectionism, call out for help! Send out an S.O.S, wave your white flag of letting go of perfection. Let go of the lie that perfectionism is our friend. Rather, it has held us back for too long, instead of propelling us forward into what God has created us to be.
There are some people who think being a perfectionist is a badge of honor. A bragging point. I am sad to say, that is not the truth. You have taken the bait and lie and traded in the truth that God’s GRACE is sufficient for you dear friend.
When we let perfectionism go, does that mean we don’t need to do things well? No!
In fact, we need to do things with excellence. We are God’s handiwork, God does not call us to be perfect – He called us to work with excellence and still be who we were created to be- imperfections and all.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
Grace allows me to trust God through all the unknowns and accomplish what the Lord has called me to do. Grace allows me to push forward not with perfectionism and not with fear of what others think, but with bravery and courage to be who God made me to be!
“Go ahead step out and do this NEW thing because it is okay if it’s not perfect. Just do your best.”
Grace allows me and others to make mistakes. Grace gives room for restoration and forgiveness. When I feel the need to be perfect it is not from the Lord. Perfection has the very real potential to spill out into all areas of my life until I see it for what it is: a counterfeit of what God truly desires for my life – GRACE.
God’s GRACE says,
“God loves you just as you are, and let’s grow in Him and be more like Him, for He is prefect and just. God never condemns. Grace is always gentle, kind, and loving.”
Grace gives us room to love ourselves and others just as they are, flaws and all. Grace attempts to restore broken relationships because it’s about the Lord and His relationship with you. It’s about His will being done.
Walking in grace daily will have a ripple effect in all areas of our life.
Perfectionism can contaminate and spill out into all areas of our life, but GRACE can reverse, counter-attack, and STOP perfectionism in its tracks.
When you feel you’re not good enough stop and say to yourself God’s GRACE is sufficient for me right now- right here- just as I am. Perfectionism cannot thrive when we allowed GRACE to fill into each and every crevice of our heart.
When we apply GRACE in our life and allow perfectionism to die, we can begin to thrive in a new way!
Three Truths that Stop Perfectionism in its Tracks:
- God’s GRACE is sufficient! 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
- You are enough! WHY? Because God is enough for the both of you! Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Stop comparing your life to everyone else! God made YOU to be YOU – NOT anyone else. Each one of us is uniquely made to do our part in this world, imperfections and all. Comparison steals our joys, and robs us of the GIFT of loving ourselves just as we are!
- You only need God’s Approval! This can be difficult because we are in a people pleasing world. Let go of people’s approval: good or bad. We only need the Lord’s! Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Let grace stand in the gap of all your flaws, your mess-ups, your mistakes, and your brokenness. Let the Lord shower GRACE on you fresh today dear friend.
If you feel you need a heart transplant to replace perfectionism with God’s GRACE pray this with me.
“Father God, thank you that you are enough. Please forgive me of trying to be perfect. Only You Lord can redeem my perfectionistic tendencies. Help me to receive your grace and let go of perfectionism. Thank you Lord for you are perfect enough for both of us. Your grace is sufficient at all times, not just when things are good for me, but when life is crashing all around me. Your grace is sufficient when I make mistakes and are stuck in perfectionism mode with myself and others. I thank you Jesus that you love me just as I am and yet You ask me to surrender that to be more like you daily. Thank you for loving me like no other could. I humbly ask this is the precious name of Jesus – Amen”