By Mary Scott Mercer
Do you struggle with perfectionism? Oh friend, so many of us find ourselves striving and hustling to prove our worth and before we know it we are bound to the chains of performance, praise and the affirmation of others. Buried beneath the surface, perfectionism is rooted deeply in pride and fear of man.
We hear lies that say “if they only knew the real you, they would never love you.”
A lie that feels nothing like a lie at all... because over and over we have made agreements with the lie. And this agreement now sounds a whole lot like truth. And from this truth, we live. We live to be perfect. But we were not ever called to be perfect. The moment sin entered the world in Genesis 3, we were no longer capable of ever achieving or witnessing perfection on this side of eternity. From this point on, all of humanity would grapple and attempt perfection while continually falling on their face in the sheer reality that while we all tried so hard, perfection was and is not possible.
The ironic thing about Christians striving to live perfect lives is that it leaves no room for God to be revealed through their life.
What if the gospel is advanced more from a life of imperfection than a life of perfection?
If we look throughout the Bible, we see that our God specializes in using imperfect people to share His perfect Gospel.
Moses the murderer.
David the adulterer.
Rahab the prostitute.
Peter who denies Jesus.
In our silly attempts to be perfect and hide our shortcomings, we rob God of displaying His redemptive work in our life.
But there is such beautiful truth for our weary hearts today. Because of the overwhelming love of God, He sent His Son to die so that we no longer had to feel the weight of perfection (John 3:16).
Because Jesus perfectly lived, died and rose again for us, He has already purchased our perfection. When God looks at you, precious friend, He sees the perfection of Christ. This frees us from needing to earn His or anyone else’s approval through living a perfect life. God knows the temptation for perfection is oh so real in our life, but daily we can ask God to meet us in our mess and remind us that perfection comes from Him and Him alone.
Is this something you are struggling with in your own life today? If so, pray with us...
Jesus, You are so good. Thank You for dying on the cross so that I no longer have to live as
a slave to my perfectionism. When I am tempted to strive and work for the acceptance and praise of man, remind me that You already love me just as I am. Give me the grace I need to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to live as loved children of God. Free from the need to work for my salvation and strengthen me to live securely in my Christ centered identity. I am so thankful for your grace today, Jesus… Amen
- Do you struggle with perfectionism in your own life? If so, where?
- Is your perfectionism masked by something else? Is it such a way of life that you don’t realize it?
- What fears keep you in bondage to perfectionism?
- How can you come alongside your friends and family who are caught in the performance trap?
- Can you identify people in your life that can help hold you accountable and free you from the bondage of pretending and perfectionism? What is stopping you from asking them to have this place in your life?
- Please consider sharing this with someone you know who may be fighting the perfection trap?
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV)
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. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.