5 Perfectionism

I love this thought from a reader:  “[Developing trust] come[s] down to abiding in Him and His love, that is the only way that trust is born… if He makes it alive in us and we abide in Him.”

Perfectionism afflicts many of us as we try to please God or make ourselves righteous by our own effort.  We find those efforts never succeed.  We try harder and harder but the goal gets higher and higher.  At each level we tell ourselves, “That’s not good enough”.  Quite frankly, our works are never good enough!  We cannot make ourselves righteous or pleasing to God.  Our righteousness is found in the blood of Jesus Christ, alone.  Jesus said, “No one is good, except God, alone.” (Luke 18:19)

I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:14-15

Yes, we are given a heart of flesh to replace the heart of stone (Ezekiel 36:26), and yet, we are continually beset by our sin nature!  We will not be totally free until Heaven.  In the meantime, our redeemed spirit is in battle with our flesh and vice versa.  We want to please God!  We want to live righteously, but we often fall short of the mark.

We are pulled into this struggle with our sin nature, thinking that we can somehow win – that we will someday find the final secret of how to overcome all our temptations and weaknesses.  This is self-deception.  Be deceived no more!  The final answer is Heaven!  Until then, Romans 7:14-15 still applies to us.

This may sound like bad news.  For those of us who have given ourselves over to perfectionism, we may absolutely hate the concept that we are not perfect.  However, the truth will win out.  What do you hear God telling you about your efforts to please Him?

Struggling with you,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received so that others can better see.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


4 Holding Loosely

Previously, we discussed prayer.  We will eventually get to discussing perfectionism.  Before that, however, we will be discussing a key concept through which to filter the ideas to follow.  I call it “holding loosely”.

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.  Job 1:21

Job “was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil”.  He was rich, he had it made, and he had ‘arrived’.  His life was ideal.  In an instant, it was all gone.  He learned through four messengers coming one right after another that his possessions, children, everything had been destroyed.   Bad news.

Job mourned and worshiped.  Then he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised”.

Job held loosely.  He recognized he could not keep possessions or his children.  He mourned and he worshiped.  He chose to let go and went immediately to God.

Perhaps Job’s example is really too good, too grandiose for us to emulate.  If I had lost everything I had, I am not even sure that I would worship God so quickly!  Would I say, that same day, “May the name of the Lord be praised”?  Could I even say that in the next year?  We tend to hold on to things tightly!  Still, Job’s example gives us a picture from which to learn.

Holding loosely is about not finding life in things, people, or even ideas, but rather in God.  “Holding loosely” is about lifting everything we have up to God and allowing Him to decide what we keep and what we discard.  It is not as if we can stop Him, but rather we choose to cooperate with Him instead of resisting Him.  God knows what is best for us.  We need to believe He loves us and is trustworthy.  He does provide.  Matthew 6:33 gives another perspective on holding loosely, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you, as well”.

I tend to grasp ideas as if they are mine. In reality, God gave me the ideas in the first place. I am learning to hold ideas loosely.  Finding others who are saying the same thing is humbling.  Yet it is necessary.

For instance, we saw a cloud and took the attached picture.  Brilliantly lit up, the cloud pointed north.

This giant pointing north captured our interested; Marguex Googled ‘go north’.  We found the following document from Gary and Lisa Heim who use the term “Going North” for what I call holding loosely.   It was astounding.  Here it is. http://www.truenorthministries.net/docs/true_north_summary.pdf

God truly is the gift Giver (James 1:17).  He is our source of life.

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received so that others can better see.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


3 Crying out to God

Regarding the first two posts, one person replied that writing prayers down in a journal, then later looking at which reminds him of his prayers and also of God’s answers.  He noted that God does not sometimes answer in way he wants.  Also, God’s answers can be “yes”, “no” and “wait”.  Another reader responded:  “We all are sitting in a GREAT place…Sitting in the quiet that we may hear the whisper of God.  He does speak and will speak more.”

Now let’s go to on the parable in which Jesus encourages his followers to “always pray and not give up”, He talks about the widow and the unjust judge.  He followed the parable with this:

Will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night?  Will He keep putting them off?  Luke 18:7

Crying out to God and telling Him exactly what we feel engages our hearts with His heart.  He wants this intimate relationship.  Intimacy (into-me-see) involves actively sharing our self with Him.  It also requires a deep trust in Him.  We need to hear His resounding “Yes, I do care about you.  I see and know every bit of you, even better than you know yourself.”  We need to decide to trust Him or not.  More to the point, we need to ask, “Is God real?”

However, we cannot manufacture trust by sheer will power.  If we are just unable to sense much of any trust in God, we need to focus on Him and His goodness.  Know that He is in control and for our GOOD.  We need to set aside our own issues (for a time) and think about God, Who He is and what He is like. Worship Him, read about Him, and fellowship with other Christians.  These things can help us learn to trust Him.

Psalm 34, especially verse 18 is a place to start, or you may have other favorite verses to focus on and be reminded of Who He is.

Crying out and trusting in His faithfulness with you,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received so that others can better see.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


2 Praying and Waiting

In one thing we can be sure; our hope is in God.  We pray daily for His provision, protection and healing.  Sometimes we wait for a very long time for His answer.  We are still waiting for answers to many of our prayers.

I often feel tempted to quit, wondering “Why bother?”  God has reminded me of His answers to my prayers in the past.  One such answer was for a godly wife.  This week marks the fifteen-year anniversary of when we married!

Jesus told His disciples…that they should always pray and not give up.  Luke 18:1

Good things come from a place of waiting on God.  We are still in that place before Him as we seek direction for our life and ministry.  In our waiting on God we remember Jesus’ words, “always pray and not give up”.  How has God answered our prayers in the past?  We often need reminders of what He has already done.

Next post:  Crying out and trusting God in the MIDST of our struggle.

Praying and waiting for God’s answers,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received so that others can better see.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


1 Being Still

I get letters and e-mails from many ministries. In my rush I do not read some and quickly scan others, all the time realizing that “busyness” wars against experiencing life with God. Life feels like a race from which I can’t run away.

Perhaps you are in a rush right now. Take a moment to slow down, relax, and meditate on this verse:

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. Psalm 46:10

God will help us if we let Him. We put ourselves in the race everyday when we keep expecting more and more out of ourselves. God wants us to learn humble dependence on Him, trusting Him to take care of us. Part of the Good News is that we can stop our striving. God has our back! He will provide for us.

I have spent years writing a book. Having completed the first stage of writing the rough draft, I realize that I am far from done.  Since many people have expressed an interest in reading the book, I am hopeful that these ideas will benefit many, especially those healing from perfectionism, shame and performance. I feel called to write a blog to start sharing what God has been showing me (and us as a married couple).

With warm regards and hopes that you experience God’s presence in your stillness,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received so that others can better see.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/