Thursday, September 08, 2011

Freedom from Perfectionism

The first thing I do when I wake up every morning is pray for my family, read verse-a-day (It's the widget on the top left hand side of my blog), and read the corresponding scripture and that days devotional.

Today's verse was Galatians 1:10 -  "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."

"A lingering weight I carry from my past is wanting to be perfect in order to be accepted by God and other people.  Whenever I fail, I tend to want to disappear from the planet.  I berate myself and renew my vow never to let it happen again!

It encourages me to hear Paul say that he was not perfect and that he would not allow his past to dictate his present behavior.  God certainly does not expect me to be perfect; in a sense he is pleased when I do something right!  It has been freeing to me to know that God can break destructive patterns.  He can guide us into confronting the deep wounds of our past by giving us wise counselors, faithful friends and his Spirit.  He, and only he can take away our sin and guilt.

God is in the business of freedom and newness, and it is when I acknowledge my past and confess my sin that I can begin to experience his liberty.  He give new lives for old."

I don't know about you all, but I tend to be very critical of myself, and I worry a lot about not living up to other's expectations of me.  I don't know why I let worry over these things affect me but I do.  And it's one of the things I've been working on and talking through with my therapist these past few months.

Are there days that I can be everything that everyone wants/needs me to be?  Absolutely.  But there are days when I can't do it all because I need to focus on taking care of my needs/wants, and I need to learn to live with that without disappointment in myself.  I've learned over the past several months that those whose opinions I worry about, aren't near as critical of me as I am of myself.  They don't have the high expectations of me that I imagine that they do.  He doesn't expect perfectionism from me.

I needed to be reminded of that today!

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