We’re not perfectionists.
Maybe not, but sometimes, it felt like we were, or at least I was. It’s one thing to expect perfection (or as close as possible) from oneself. But when these same standards are now being applied to our children, they felt harsh, maybe dare I say, perfectionistic. I mentioned it to my husband who disagreed as noted above.
But something still felt off.
I know in my head and heart no one is perfect except God. Jesus has and will be the only living, perfect person. Yet here I am, trying to often achieve that same level. As a Christian, it’s my goal to become more and more like Jesus every day. However, I know it’ll never happen this side of heaven. So why do I have this perfectionistic quality?
When younger, my tendency was even stronger. Life lessons of losing and not always being the best lowered my expectations over time. Examples of the toll of attempted perfection hit home. Yet still I strived for excellence. I don’t think God wants us to strive for mediocre or being an ‘also ran’. But He also doesn’t want us to lament or feel worthless each time we aren’t perfect.
So where’s the middle? How can I be an imperfect perfectionist?
In this month of focusing on letting go, I’m learning to let go of perfect. I know I’m not the only one with this desire so I am exploring it on my MemoryMinders blog and have even read many books lately on this topic. But the books didn’t hit the nail on the head for me. So let’s explore some more.
Do you ever feel ‘less than’ because others are better than you? Do you feel like a failure when you don’t live up to either your own or other’s expectations? And what’s realistic and not realistic for ourselves, our children or others in our sphere of influence? These are the questions I’ve been thinking about lately.
We have goals and when we fall short, we may feel inadequate or less valuable than others. But God doesn’t value us based on what we do.
He loves us because we are.
Now certainly, He wants us to try and live upright, righteous lives based on the commands found in the Bible and the example of Jesus. But He knows we can never fulfill them all. It’s why He sent Jesus in the first place-to take our place.
Sin will forever prevent us from being perfect. But Jesus overcame our sin with His perfect life. When God looks at us believers now, He only sees Jesus’ perfection, not our own feeble attempts and failures. Reminding myself of this has been a lifesaver.
So I’m learning to be a recovering perfectionist. I’m attempting to be more present and less perfect. I’m finding my own steps on this road by following His perfect footprints already laid. I’m resting in the comfort of His grace even when I feel less than worthy of it. I’m laying all my imperfections at His feet and desperately trying not to pick them back up again.
I’m living as an imperfect person trusting in my perfect Savior.
I still revert back to my perfectionist tendencies at times. It’s another of my imperfections. But trusting in the saving grace of Jesus, I’m attempting to live joyfully even amid my flaws. It’s not always easy and I need His grace daily. But I’ve found living in His grace is so much healthier and freeing than living stuck worrying about my imperfections.
Let’s not allow our expectations of perfection stop us from freely living and experiencing the grace filled life God has planned for us.
Let’s embrace His grace and let go of perfect.
Linking with Crystal at #HeartEncouragement