photo by: Shirley/Oklahoma/Aug 2009
Perfectionism Revisited
originally written 15 Sep 09
posted 16 Sep 09 
I have such trouble sitting still and
focusing on the tasks I must apply myself to on this day.
This morning I feel like another puzzle piece has fallen into place.  : )

For the past few days, I have been thinking about
the instruction to give our best to God.
This is good…but the concept can be
twisted in our minds before we even realize it.
I wonder where along the line we have gotten this confused…
where did our pride get into the mix and muddy the vision?
Why do we feel we have to be perfect
in order to be worthy of love, honor, blessing?

God asks for our best…not our facade.

There is a definite fear of being real…
this fear is in our society AND in our church.

We should not fear being real, especially with our Creator.
He sees all and knows all about us anyway…
He is not fooled by our masks (even if we may be fooling ourselves).

I’ve written about perfectionism before (perfectionism pitfalls)…
but it’s not something that goes away easily.
Perfectionism is a trap—truly a handicap—an obstacle to be overcome.

God has no desire for our false perfection.

Pursuit of a “perfect life”
—perfect house, perfect career, perfect body, perfect image—
all are a complete waste of time.

Martha & Mary
Their story has always confused me…but this morning I am seeing things from a different perspective.  Martha was trying to provide for those visiting her home, which most of us would see as admirable…so it confused me that she would be gently rebuked for doing something that seemed like a good thing…but it’s quite possible that she was putting too much effort into making things “perfect” for her honored guest.  
After all, she was serving Christ himself in her home!
Talk about pressure to perform perfectly!
When given the choice between rushing around with busy tasks and sitting at the Master’s feet, Mary chose the latter.  
Christ said that Mary chose more wisely.
I have always wondered at that…until now.
Perhaps it wasn’t that Mary was unwilling to work or provide, but perhaps she was simply content with keeping it simple in order that she’d have more time for sitting still and focusing on what Christ had to say that day.

Neither women were condemned for their choices (I love that!), 
however, Mary received the greater blessing.

Of all the people who have ever walked on this planet, Christ is the One who truly could have insisted upon perfection (and pomp & circumstance!)…yet he preferred the simple.*

Are we running after perfection needlessly?
Are we trying to perform as we feel we must
in order to live up to society’s standards?
Are we missing out on the greater blessing?

I’m not talking about neglecting our responsibilities.
We are definitely to take care of those around us that God has
given us responsibility for.

I’m talking about setting a standard so high that we grow weary and worn out in trying to reach it.  I’m talking about running constantly in the effort to meet everyone’s expectations for us (or our own!).  I’m talking about belittling ourselves when we don’t “measure up” to what we feel we should be…or allowing guilt remain that others have placed on our shoulders when we don’t meet their expectations.

If our busy lives keep us from finding a reasonable amount of time to learn more about the Christ who gave His very life for us…
there is something amiss.

Where is our heart?

No one else can answer that question for us.  This is something we have to examine for ourselves…and ask our Heavenly Father to help us see clearly…since it is only He who can see that deep into our souls…only He knows the bottom line truth that rests there.
We are too easily swayed by the burden of “measuring up.”  
The condition of our heart is far more important than any of the external trappings we fall into and/or pursuits of perfectionism that the world may deem worthy of our time.

Sometimes our real best doesn’t measure up to society’s expectations…
but our real best always pleases God…
and His is the only opinion that truly matters when it’s all said and done.

* “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called.  Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.  It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.  
Therefore, as it is written; ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’ 
1 Corinthians 1:26-31

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