43 God’s Work

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor. 5:17-21

Jesus blood cleanses us so that “in Him we might become the righteousness of God”. We cannot add to the blood; we can only receive it in faith. We diminish our view of the blood if we think or act like we need to add to it. When we strive to reconcile ourselves to God, we fail to recognize that the blood of Jesus is completely-sufficient to reconcile the world to Himself.

May the God of peace, Who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever and ever. Hebrews 13:20-21

God is the One to “equip [us] for doing His will” and to “work in us what is pleasing to Him”. I heard Dan Juster say it this way, “Our ability to obey is not from the Law, but from being connected to the Vine.” We are being transformed by God through our relationship with Him.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

Power to live the Christian life comes from God. God is powerful and able.

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit 2 Cor. 3:18

We “reflect the Lord’s glory”. The glory comes from God; we simply receive it and pass it to others. We are “being transformed”. Notice the verb tense in Romans 12:1-2 is passive.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not us. 2 Cor. 4:7

The power, glory and credit all go to God. He even gives us the faith to believe in Him! Eph 2:8-9

A “jar of clay” containing His glory,

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


42 Lawlessness

As we let go of rules and learn to trust God instead of our own performance, we can go from legalism to lawlessness. Even in legalism we can be rigid about some things and very lax about other things. We need to find moderation, letting go of overly high expectations while listening to God and obeying Him.

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. 1 John 3:4-6

“Continues to sin” in the Greek implies a constant and habitual practice of sin, seeking to sin rather than avoiding it. Yet, even in our avoiding sin we can fall into another trap. This trap is struggling against sin and seeking to become free in our own power. We need God’s power (next blog) to be free.

We practice lawlessness when we misuse freedom and put ourselves above the law, thus giving our legalistic enemy the right to hold our sin against us. This leaves us open and vulnerable. He is a beguiler and wants “to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) He will take advantage of our every vulnerability. We delude and put ourselves at the mercy of the father of lies when we say, “Oh, I can get away with it this one time.” When we sin, we give inroads to the enemy’s condemnation. For example, an apartment complex may have a walking path which says for residents only. Non-residents may rationalize walking it, but they make themselves trespassers. Rationalizing opens us to the enemy’s arrows. We need to be aware of his wiles.

Even small temptations can lead to lawlessness. In all the above keep in mind, conviction comes from the Holy Spirit and condemnation comes from the devil. “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Romans 6:20-22) God wants to forgive us and to give us His peace! “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:7-8, emphasis mine) God made a way for us. We need to live in Christ and walk in the works He prepared for us in advance to do.

Learning to submit to the Master,

Noah & Marguex 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


41 Rear View Mirror

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of [perfection].  But one thing I do; forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  Philippians 3:13

I write this e-letter for those of you who are at an advanced stage in your healing process.  The rear view mirror is an analogy that I am just coming into after 27 years of being on the journey of recovering from perfectionism.  For those of you who are not ready for this yet, put this e-letter on the shelf of your memory banks to pull out again at some future time.

The rear view mirror is our past.  We look at it to remind ourselves of where we have been.  We look through the windshield to see where we are going, what is ahead.  We drive towards what we see out the windshield.  We drive away from what is seen in the rear view mirror.

Some of you are at a stage in your healing where you need to pull your car over to the side of the road, put it in park and stare in the rear view mirror.  You have issues from your past you need to work through.

Those of us who truly are ready (chomping at the bit) to move on in our process, who have already worked through these things, we still remember.  They are still a part of us.  We still feel the sting of those past wounds; not like we used to feel them, but we still can feel the pain if triggered by a memory of the past.  Our past is still a part of us in this life.  “There” is heaven.  We do not get to a point where we stop feeling pain in this life.

However, we put it in perspective by looking in the rear view mirror while glancing ahead and around us.

The rear view mirror allows us to be aware of our past while driving away from it. Eventually, we need to take our focus off of the past and look towards the future.  Paul said, “forgetting”, not forget.  He did not mean to forget, never to remember again.  Rather, he knew that forgetting is an ongoing process.  Today we need to forget, tomorrow we will need to forget and a year from now we will still need to forget.  Ten years from now we will still be in the process of forgetting.  We need to keep forgetting because our brains are designed to remember.

Remembering need not be awful.  For example Jesus wanted us to remember Him (see Luke 22:19).  We need to remember scriptures.  We need to remember why we believe.  We need to remember one another.  We need to remember the poor.  We need to remember to entertain strangers.  We need to sort through what we need to remember and what we need to forget.  If there is something from your past that keeps coming back, you need to put it in the rear view mirror.

Looking forward, straining towards what is ahead,

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


40 How Did We Get Here?

Whoever welcomes a little child like this in My Name welcomes Me.  But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.  Matthew 18:5-6

Past e-letters have talked about some of the signs and effects of perfectionism and ideas for healing from perfectionism.  How did we get here in the first place?  Why are we so perfectionistic?

The simple answer…shame.  Shame drives us to perfectionism because we strive to rid ourselves of the selfsame shame through performance.  Shame feels like guilt, and so we conclude that we can deal with shame as we deal with guilt.  This does not work because shame has a completely different source than guilt.  We deal with our shame by trying to atone for the bad feelings in our souls.  We think that if we act in new and “right” (in other words, self-righteous) ways, our shame will go away.  When the shame does not go away, we conclude that we did not find the right way.  We then seek even more diligently to find ways that will work in ridding us from this internal feeling of badness.

How did we come by these feelings of badness or shame?  We perceive shame subjectively.  Much of it came from our childhood.  We experienced shame when others sinned against us; examples are physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, excessive punishment, harsh words, lack of love and affection, which all scar a child’s soul.  We also experienced shame through our own sin.  Even though we confess and receive forgiveness the Accuser still condemns us for past sins.

I give you the following example from my adult life.  When I am with people and they laugh, I sometimes personalize it and think they are laughing at me.  When I do something goofy and someone laughs, I feel shame.  My wife and I have talked about this extensively.  I appreciate her perspective.  When she is with me and laughs at my goofiness, she wants to laugh with me.  She is celebrating me.  She has a loving attitude towards me.  Laughter for me can be a trigger by reminding me of others laughing at me when I was a child.

What triggers our shame?  Knowing our triggers helps us deal with our shame.  Understanding triggers gives us insight into the source of our shame.  The presence of these triggers indicates unresolved issues.

We want to run away from our shame, hide it or push it away.  None of these tactics work.  We need to deal with the roots of our shame.  Ultimately, we need to forgive those who hurt us.  Keep in mind that forgiveness is a process and can take much time, especially for those of us who experience horrendous abuse and neglect in childhood.

We have much to learn about the roots of our shame.  The above is only an introduction.

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