Friday, 13 March 2015

"It's got to be-e-e-e-e, yeah, perrrrfect"

It is a source of some amusement that, as a perfectionist, that is one of my favourite songs. For those on the outside the word "perfectionist" is used as a friendly jibe. "Oooo you're such a perfectionist! *tehehe*" But for those of us trapped in our beautifully (except for that slight smudge on the wall over there. Hideous) crafted prisons perfectionism can be debilitating.

Perhaps it would be helpful to put my perfectionism in context. I am a university student, who has lost countless hours of sleep trying to get an assignment juuuust right. I tend towards the creative side of things, and have fallen into despair when I couldn't make that thing exactly the way I wanted to. I am a sister, daughter and friend, who has had several near-meltdowns when I've been unable to make a commitment. I am child of God.

"...for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:23-24)

But, I'm not good enough! You may cry (and when I say 'you' we both know I'm talking about me). No, you're not (re-read v. 23 in case there's any confusion).

Ok, so I'll be perfect and then God will love me and the---


"...for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God..."

Let that sink in for a second.

By this point I'm hoping it's abundantly clear that no matter how good your marks are, no matter how fantastic that cake you just made looks, or how good of a friend you think you are it's not enough.

And that's ok.

Ok?! Thats not ok!!!

Oh, but it is.

"For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5: 7-8)

There is nothing you can do to earn God's love. And there is nothing you can do to lose it.

I have this conversation with myself on a near daily basis. The only thing that cuts through the fog and the murk created by these lies I tell myself ('You're not good enough.' 'No one loves you.') is the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6: 17).

For further reading (especially for any mums out there) I highly recommend "I Must Be Perfect" by Rachel Madden on Devotional Diva. Her honesty and 'realateiblity' (that's a word now) are part of what prompted me to share my experience. You can find the link here.

*Note: None of my friends actually laugh like that. Well, at least, not in public.


Unknown said...

I get like this when it comes to doing things at church. There need to be graphics on screen to complement what is happening on stage. There is a spelling error on one of the onscreen lyrics. AAAAA the music wasn't faded out after the offering song! People are not going to come back to our church now!!

But it's not about that. And that's a fact my pastor is always reminding me of. In fact, he loves it when little mishaps like that happen, because he says it reminds people that we are just like them. We are all human, and we as a church don't pretend to be perfect. Because we fail miserably :p

From one perfectionist to another.....great article. Love your writing.

Unknown said...

Love it! ;)

MB said...

Thanks for the support, Alex! You should have seen my face when I spotted a typo in my post.

Sofia Marie said...

Lol, you described a number of stuff I feel pretty regularly too. It's a tight spot, but I think I'm learning to relax a bit. :) Isn't it just awesome that God loves us when we're definitely not perfect?

MB said...

It's a long process of learning and doesn't happen overnight. It's fantastic that you're learning to relax a bit - Jesus commands the weary to come to him and find rest and relief from our burdens.

And yes that is a truly awesome truth :) Keep up the blogging, I'll come by and visit your corner of the internet when I'm not drowning in assignments :P