Earlier this week I reading the Culture Project’s blog. There was one entitled Perfectionism that hit home with me (read it here). After I read it I sat there thinking “Oh, wow… this. is. me.”
Here are the words that opened my eyes to one of my own weaknesses:
A perfectionist can desire to be in control and not being in control of a situation can bring anxiety. A perfectionist can tend to like things done a particular way. She may not trust another person to complete a task according to her standards. Sometimes she may be living out the lie that she has to do it all herself or if she makes a mistake she won’t be loved. A perfectionist may believe that weakness is unloveable.
A perfectionist can desire to be in control and not being in control of a situation can bring anxiety: whenever we do a dance night I always have a hard time dancing with the guys and letting them lead because I will resist their lead.. it makes me EXTREMELY nervous to let the guy lead. Mind you, I’ve gotten much better at this, especially as I’ve gotten to know the different guys in our community better, but it was(and still is) a true burden. Another example is when I babysit I always want to make sure the kids are on their best behavior, especially when their parents get home and if they’re crying or having a temper tantrum when mom&dad get home I feel like I failed at doing my job.
A perfectionist can tend to like things done a particular way and may not trust another person to complete a task according to her standards: I can’t count the number the of times I’ve said “I’ll just do it myself” because I wasn’t trusting the other person to do it “right”. One example is in group projects there are particular tasks I’ll volunteer for because I don’t like how other people will do it and can be very picky. I have a really hard time cooking with other people, especially if I’ve never cooked with them before. I usually kick everyone out of the kitchen because they get in my way…only certain people can cook with me.
Just in reading these few examples, the rest of what stood out to me can be seen. I absolutely struggle that with believing the lie that if I make a mistake I will be unlovable. The times I have fallen into self-pity parties or struggled to see my worth or identity were times when all I could see was my weakness and the way that weakness was affecting the people around me and I felt like a burden.
My perfectionism causes me to believe that I am a burden to the people around me.
To that lie, Jesus would say:
my grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness. (2Cor 12:9)
Last weekend I heard a talk and this talk was based on the verse above. And after that talk I asked the Lord to reveal to me my weakness, so that He could more fully be glorified in me, in my weakness. This post is not meant to be a pity party, it’s not meant to be bragging, it’s not meant to be anything other than a testament that the Lord hears our prayer and responds, that He is FAITHFUL, to let those who struggle with this too know they are not alone.
To our imperfections, faults, and weaknesses the Lord says my grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness. God is glorified as we accept our weaknesses and flaws and bring them before Him to be purified and made new.
Perfectionism causes me to be self-sufficient, have harsh self-judgment, and to live out the lie that I have to do it all myself. But the Lord is GREATER and He can be victorious, if we but let His light touch our darkness.
I’m just going to close this with my prayer:
Lord, I don’t want to live chained down by my perfectionism + perfectionist tendencies. I want FREEDOM in your perfect love! I want to see myself as you see me, flaws and all, to see the beauty of my flaws. Jesus, help me to let go of the tendencies and desires I have to be perfect, especially when they are keeping me from the freedom + love you offer me. I want to be fully alive in you.
Jesus, take my self-sufficiency. I want to rely solely on you. You are enough for me.
In moments of harsh self-judgment remind me of your love for me + help me to see myself through your eyes.
When I am weak, afraid, vulnerable, broken, and lonely – and these feelings weight heavy on me, give me eyes that see myself as you see me, as the Father sees me.
Jesus, you are welcome here. May your light shine in this darkness.