March 16, 2011
"Perfectionism" strikes a chord with a lot of women. So many of us struggle with not only trying to be perfect, or wishing we were perfect, but secretly condemning ourselves for not being perfect by...
* appearance, self image and weight
* comparing ourselves to other women
* feeling inadequate as a mom
* desiring for our children to be perfect, respectful kids that measure up
* thinking we have to get everything perfect the first time
* being the perfect housekeeper and wife
* re-discovering identity and self worth as an empty-nester
* maintaining a quiet and gentle spirit, and having patience
What we would look like if we actually met all those expectations. Hypothetically, we would be a woman who:
* has the perfect body, perfect hair, and never struggles with a few extra pounds
* never bothers with comparing herself to others because she has high self esteem
* is always amazed at her Godly, never-failing, wonderful parenting abilities
* has children who never fall or fail in any way
* masters every task at the first attempt
* has a house that is perfectly decorated, neat and tidy at all times
* fully embraces every season of life, including change, with joy and excitement
* never loses her temper, and carries a sweet and gently disposition at all times
I am not even sure if June Cleaver would measure up to these standards!
A list such as this, with such an impressive, exhaustive rundown of wonderful qualities can only describe one thing - a superhuman. Therefore, as we hold ourselves accountable to meet all these standards of perfection, that we have set for ourselves or that we feel the world has placed upon us, we are striving to meet a level of perfection that is entirely unattainable.
Even if we were to pick just a few of these qualities to strive for, we would still fall head over heels into the game of trying to achieve a superhuman status,setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment; positioning ourselves to be superhuman more than we can possibly be - and the result is a battle with the disease of the superhuman syndrome.
A deadly syndrome which can drain the life right out of our self-esteem and our spirit. A syndrome that if left untreated, can negatively affect not only our view of ourselves, but our overall lives, and the people we hold dear.
As I looked over this superhuman list of expectations, I felt God whispering to my heart, saying "See? Striving for perfectionism is just plain silly, and unrealistic. Only I am perfect."
Then God immediately brought to mind a book I once read called i am not but i know I AM, by Louie Giglio. I strolled into my office and searched among all the books on my bookshelves until my eyes fell on the brown and burgundy cover.
I began skimming through the crisp pages, taking special note of the paragraphs I had underlined and the special truths I had highlighted.
Then I came across a page with the corner turned down, and paused to read it.
"In a heartbeat, Moses knew Gods name - and something more. He finally knew his. For if Gods name is I AM, Moses' name must be I am not.
- I am not the center of everything.
- I am not in control.
- I am not the solution.
- I am not all-powerful.
- I am not calling the shots.
- I am not the owner of anything.
- I am not the Lord.
We are not. Never will be. Cannot be.
But God Is, and always will Be.