I hate to start like this, but it’s true. I’m depleted of my typical energy in life, wisdom, and joy. March hasn’t been my month, honestly. As always, God has made it a point to smack me in the face with my sin (in love and gentleness, of course… that sounded a bit harsh my bad). But, thankfully, God has been restoring me the past week. Solidifying my new, God given revelations. Covering me over and over again by actively choosing me. So, I’m doing great.
God is doing His thing, as always, and I’m just going with it.
The main wake up call God gave me this month is the recognition of the underlying sin of my perfectionism.
Before I continue, I just want to point out that a lot of people (even myself in the past) have a misconception about perfectionism. It isn’t just getting assignments done in advance, keeping your room organized, or wanting things a certain way. No, it is much, much deeper than that. Perfectionism, at its core, is a rejection of the Gospel of Jesus. It is profoundly sinful. And, in all honesty, I never recognized it as such until this month. It wasn’t until God woke me up that I realized how greatly perfectionism absolutely plagues my soul on a day-to-day basis.
Even though I have gotten much better at the whole “self-care” thing, I’m still pretty far from successful in this area. As I even came back from spring break exhausted, I recognized something was really wrong. I was far from God. I was trying to operate based on my own strength and ability. I was running completely on fumes. I didn’t have much to give at all, honestly. I was so complacent with the Lord, my absolute best friend. It was devastating. I don’t know how to explain it but; I just couldn’t do it.
To skip forward a bit, God gave me some answers here, through His word, through prayer, and the wisdom of those around me. He doesn’t have an obligation to respond quickly to us, so this was a huge gift! These are some things I learned.
- God’s grace is not always pleasant. Because of Christ’s death on the cross for me, God’s anger for my sin was satisfied. But, discipline remains as an act of TRANSFORMATIONAL GRACE. God’s grace doesn’t always release us from something. His grace is meant to deeply root itself in our hearts and change us. Through my recognition of perfectionism, God has made it perfectly clear that he is using my sin struggle to bring me to a place of abundance. He is allowing me to sit here, in uncomfortable grace, for a reason.
- My perfectionism manifests itself as wanting to be everything for everyone, doing it all, saving the world. But, trying to do all this without my God is worthless. I have to get back to the basics and FIRST abide in Him, above all else. If I am not daily abiding in the Lord, nothing else will bear fruit in my life.
- My perfectionism; my sinful desire to perform (and outperform others), to overachieve, to have EVERYTHING going for me, is a DIRECT REJECTION OF THE GOSPEL. Plain and simple. When any thought that goes through my head begins with, “well, I NEED to ____”, I am choosing to people-please, to outdo, to earn. These things are not from God. If I claim Christ as my Savior and keeper of my life, I must give Him the credit where it’s due. Living out of my own strength will never satisfy or measure up to the free grace I’ve been given in Jesus.
So yeah, I’m tired. But I’m free. I’m getting there, slowly but surely. God does not neglect to finish what He begins. He’s never failed me yet. He has so much more to teach me through this battle with perfectionism. He’s only getting started.