One of my favorite songs called "Free To Be Me" has a verse that I want to share with you to spring board from, as I share with you about perfection being our enemy, and it goes like this: 'Cause I got a couple dents in my Fender, Got a couple rips in my jeans, Try to fit the pieces together, But perfection is my enemy, And on my own, I'm so clumsy, But on Your shoulders I can see, I'm free to be me.
What is perfectionism really about? It's a way of thinking that says: "If I look perfect, live perfect, and work perfect, I can avoid or minimize criticism, blame and ridicule."
I was listening to a talk show awhile back and I heard someone say:
"When perfectionism is driving, shame is always riding shotgun,
and fear is the annoying back seat driver."
Some people assume that being a perfectionist is a positive trait, believing that it drives them to excellence and productivity and that life is an all or nothing game, and yet in reality it can be connected with the fear of failure. Perfectionist take every setback and criticism personally and rather than bouncing back from challenges and mistakes, they are beaten down by them, fearing that they are not good enough. Before I accepted Jesus Christ into my life, to be the boss of my life, I had perfectionist tendencies that would show up whenever I would make a mistake. I would be so hard on myself, condemning and judging myself and allowing shame and fear to ride and rule me. I was the fifth child in my family growing up on a farm with parents that loved me dearly, but somehow while growing up I always felt like I never measured up, and that everything that I did wasn't good enough. This was a weakness in me, not in my parents. The reach for perfection can be painful because it is often driven by both a desire to do well and a fear of the consequences of not doing well.
My freedom came after I had given my life to Christ and began meditating on the fact that I now had the nature of God residing in me, 2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. When I did something wrong, I knew that God loved and accepted me for who I was. Jesus took that condemnation on the cross and empowered me to rise above my mistakes - I was free!
I realized that whatever struggle I had going on in my mind had no right to be there. I started to be aware of the power and ability God had placed within me to overcome all obstacles.
Romans 3:24 - Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Perfection truly is our enemy. When we stop being so hard on ourselves,
we will begin to be easier on others!