This article was written originally in September of 2009. Its amazing that writing such an article has led me to where I am today. I won't say that its not been a struggle. Laying down my will for the Father's is an on-going battle. I often don't want to relinquish parts of myself, but I'm realizing the only one I'm struggling with is myself. The Father won't force Himself on me. I have to lay down at the foot of the cross and die to my old self of my own free will. I hope you find something useful in the following article. Blessings!
Perfectionism or Perfect?
I have been a “perfectionist” all my life and yet, I’ve never gotten anything perfect. Not one thing I’ve done or said couldn’t be improved upon. It got me thinking on the difference between perfectionism and God telling us to be perfect. What's the difference?
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48
He knows that I’m not perfect. He knows that I cannot meet His perfection in myself, because I’m an imperfect, sinful creature, but He gave me a way to meet that perfection. He gave me His Son. I can be perfect in Christ. In Christ. When I’m walking in the Way. When I’m following in the footsteps of Jesus. When I’m making a relationship with my Heavenly Father and doing what He’s asked, because I love Him and I want to please Him, that’s when I’m perfect in Christ.
This perfection isn’t of myself. It isn’t even my standards. In fact “my standards” is the exact definition of perfectionism. I’m not meeting my standards, my vision of perfect. But, hello! I’m not going to see it right. I’m warped, thanks to Adam and Eve. How could I ever expect to meet perfection under my own power?
God gave examples of people in the Bible who were considered perfect.
Noah was called a just man and perfect. Genesis 6:9
God told Abram to walk before Him and be perfect. Genesis 17:1 And later called him His friend.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says that Christ’s strength is made perfect in weakness. Meaning our ability to overcome the worldly inclinations, our sin nature, can only be won out thru the Holy Spirit. Christ residing in us. No other than that.
James 1:22 – Be doers of the word, not just hearers.
The way to cross the bridge from perfectionist to being perfect, because God is perfect, is simply in my choice of whose standards I’m willing to lean upon. My standards or His. Am I willing to do as He has asked of me or am I only interested in my viewpoint? Am I willing to give over my will to His?
This has been a very difficult lesson for me, for I am a strong-willed individual. I have always thought I could do whatever needed doing. Its been the theme of my life since I was very young. You grow up fast when you have a sickly mother and a very busy (and often self-involved) father. However, I won’t blame them for my behaviors, my choices. I’ve been out from under their home rule since I was 16, so I have to face up to the fact that I am not acting solely based on reaction to their choices and behaviors.
I go before my Lord in prayer. I bring my perfectionistic attitudes to You Lord and I confess them as sin. I’ve been trying to do things under my own guidance, rather than asking You for help. I don’t want to continue in that direction, because its getting me nowhere. Rather, I want to relinquish my life to my Heavenly Father, to do with as You please. Jesus, take my life and make me holy and perfect, in the Father’s sight. Make me a living sacrifice. I give my will to you Lord. Do with it as You please. Amen.