39 Inviting God

Last time we talked about an alternative to perfectionism. Part of finding an alternative involves prayer and listening to God. Here are some thoughts on prayer.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

In attending a workshop entitled Scripture-based Prayer as a Counseling Intervention with Kathryn A. Steele from New Orleans Theological Seminary, I (Marguex) heard Kathryn say that inviting the Lord into our times in meeting with others can be powerful. She was speaking to those of us who work in helping others to see God’s way through the hurts and troubles of life. As she spoke these words I was reminded of the truth that was spoken to me in my process of healing. God is a gentleman. In the above verse we do not read, “I burst the door in and take over.” He waits for us to hear His knock and open the door. My mother had a depiction of this verse on the wall in our dining room. There is no handle on the outside of the door on which Jesus knocks.

This is a powerful truth. God will not grab control. He waits for us to yield to Him. He then indwells us. He fit us perfectly. As we contrast this with the times we have given ourselves over to the enemy’s control, we see the great difference. The enemy grasps and grabs for control, taking what he will with legalistic vengeance when we offer our mortal bodies over to wickedness in any way, shape or form. His “fit” only brings ill health in our beings. Again, as we yield to God, He brings our life into alignment with His will (the works He prepared for us to walk in, Eph. 2:10). Just as our physical back can be brought into alignment and causes other ailments to cease, God continues to align us internally, thoroughly so we walk uprightly.

So, having this concept in mind, as I was listening to Kathryn, I was realizing that what she was saying about inviting God into the process was profound. What if that is what prayer does? If God is a gentleman, then is He waiting until His people call Him into situations in this world? Is this why He wants us to pray? Is it why He said, “If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land”? (II Chronicles 7:14) Will our land only be healed if we cry out from our hearts? (Hosea 7:14)

Do we, as His people, stay the hand of God? Can we, as His people not only move the heart of God? More, can we move His hand? Keeping in mind that He is a gentleman let’s pray that we do His will here on earth as the angels do His will in heaven.

Inviting Him into our world,

Marguex Woodrich (and Noah, too)

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


38 An Alternative

We do not need to live according to perfectionism, anymore.  The alternative is living in God’s love.  In Him we find freedom from the grasp of perfectionism.  We can learn to stop agreeing with and let go of holding on to perfectionism.  Let’s not be so harsh on ourselves.  New ways of thinking and acting take time.  It took us copious amounts of time to get here.  It takes time to unlearn old ways and relearn new and healthy patterns.  Jesus offers hope–real hope.  His transformation lasts.

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-30

Perfectionism is a monster.  Do not let it eat you alive.  Ask God for help.  He will show you a new and more abundant way.  “’Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest, and repent.  Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.’” Revelation 3:19-20

Consider the alternative to perfectionism.  Imagine life based on love rather than fear.  Consider living in relationship rather than living by rules.  Think about a life full of joy and hope rather than frustration and pain.  Consider what life would be like if we didn’t present ourselves to the monster and jump into its cavernous jaws.

We need to let go of self-criticism and regret over past failures.  Wishing we could have done it all differently does us no good.  When we catch ourselves second-guessing the decisions we have made in life say, “God’s love for me is unconditional.”  This idea helps me:  I needed to go through what I did, including all the decisions that I made, in order to get to where I am today.  If things had been different and I had made different decisions, I would not be who I am.  I am learning to like myself.

Dream with me.  Picture yourself free of self-criticism, regret and second-guessing.  Picture yourself free from harsh rules and standards.  Picture yourself no longer in the grip of perfectionism.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’  The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”  Lamentations 3:22-26

You need to decide either to hold onto perfectionism or else to let go of it.  This is simplistic.  We are not able to let go of perfectionism any more than an addict is able to let go of the addiction.  Yet, acknowledging our perfectionism and deciding to let go of it forms the first two steps in the journey away from perfectionism.  If you haven’t already, will you take those first two steps?

Finding rest and peace in Him amidst life’s struggles,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


37 The Monster

Perfectionism is a monster. Extreme words, yet well deserved. Perfectionism saps our life. Perfectionism kills hopes and dreams. It tears down faith, replacing it with doubt and fear. Perfectionism promises to help us yet leads us to hesitate at every decision. It demands us to agonize and worrying over small things only to find later they weren’t such a big deal.

Perfectionism tells us we can earn the love and approval we so desperately crave. If we follow the right rules we will be successful. It entices us with an illusion of control. It deceives us into believing; if we just come up with the right plan and work hard enough our future will be bright and glorious. It then it robs us of time and energy without delivering on its promises. Perfectionism promises order and an illusion of peace and delivers frustration and regret. Perfectionism says if we live right, do what we are supposed to do when we are supposed to do it, then we be rewarded. When we aren’t we conclude that we did something wrong.

The truth is we cannot ever live “right enough”. The standard will keep on rising. In our striving and competition we will keep finding others who are better, stronger and faster than we are. We find ourselves outperformed. We feel defeated.

I lived with perfectionism most of my life. In childhood, I did not have a grasp that Jesus was my Savior while I was trying to make Him Lord. I sought to serve Him with no apparent success. I craved joy and peace of which I experienced very little. I figured that was because I didn’t love God and others as I should. I would try really hard but ended up feeling angry at others and then at myself for being angry at others. I couldn’t measure up. I felt like a failure.

Fast forward three decades. When I would feel sick, my wife encouraged me to take a day off so as to recuperate. “But I’m not that sick,” I would say while wondering if I was sick enough to take the day off. She would plead with me saying, “You need to take the day off so you can get better.” I would go to work anyway, coughing and sneezing, with a dripping nose and say, “I don’t feel so bad.” I took three handkerchiefs with me and found I needed another. Upon waking up one morning I was so sick that I worried I wouldn’t make it through a workday. I didn’t even want to get up to go to the restroom, much less go to work! I made the call. My boss said, “Hope you get to feeling better.” I hung up the phone. Relief swept through my body! I actually took the day off! I thought, “How bad do I need to feel to call in sick?”

Life does not need to be like this. We can find freedom from perfectionism, stop agreeing with its lies and let go of it. We need not to be so harsh on ourselves and learn that new ways of thinking and acting take time. Jesus offers authentic hope. Ask God for help and He’ll show the way

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Being rescued from the maws of the Monster,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com