38 An AlternativePosted: October 14, 2012
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,
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