I take everything to to heart. My sensitivity has been the bane of my existence since I was a child. I had a chat with my husband a few days ago when I came back from what I perceived as a particularly hard day at work. I was wrestling with a spirit of intense anxiety that day. When getting to the root of the issue, I realized I was trying to make everything “perfect” in my own strength. So, these are 3 biblical reminders perfection is not God’s plan for you.
Let me put that day into context for you: My clothes hadn’t dried over night. I didn’t have the chance to down a giant vat of coffee. Lame reason to start my day off glum… Hindsight is 20/20 and also humbling. I was late by ten minutes because of traffic. The bank then refused me, for the umpteenth time, to open a bank account. I then proceeded to cry in front of my boss. Yep. #noshame
Being the sensitive gal that I am, I tend to collect “blips”, minor mistakes or anxious feelings, and carry them with me throughout the day. Once my day is done, I mentally rifle through these collective blips and write off my day as “bad”. When I have done that, I choose to be unhappy.
3 biblical reminders perfection is not God’s plan for you
I would have been properly offended at the thought of someone suggesting I was choosing to be unhappy before our conversation. That’s exactly what I was guilty of, though.
I may not be able to control my anxiety, emotions, or immediate reactions to stressful circumstances. Emotions, worries, fears, and anxieties are all very human. When acknowledging the root of my habit to choose unhappiness after a hard day, I felt God moving in our conversation. We prayed together and came to a few conclusions.
1. We are to be anxious for nothing.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7).
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:25-34).
What’s the root of your anxiety or overly critical nature of yourself? Fear? Comparison? Perfectionism? Strive to leave no room for anxieties by addressing the root of your worries.
Personally, I am a perfectionist. My perfectionism is my downfall; if things aren’t spot on, I tend to obsess over it. I also can’t settle for less than my standard of perfect and it inhibits my ability to even try sometimes. This causes insecurity, anxiety, and extreme self deprecation.
Acknowledging that perfectionism is my issue helps me to clock it and mentally say I know that I’m going to tirelessly aim for “perfection” and this is why I’m not even trying. So I tend to try and snuff that pattern of thinking. For example, I stopped writing blog posts for ages because of this fear of not being good enough. What good is perfectionism if I can’t use my God given love for writing as a form of ministry? Perfectionism was literally inhibiting my ability to glorify God.
2. We will never be perfect in our own strength.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26).
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33).
“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (Psalm 18:32).
It isn’t unwise (yes that’s a double negative, come at me grammar police) to clock what we have done and acknowledge mistakes. This is what allows us to grow and develop our maturity. I like the phrase “once a mistake, twice a choice”.
Dwelling on mistakes is another story entirely. We are never going to be perfect, nor are we meant to be. We are broken beyond repair. The fact that I strive to be perfect in my own strength is a desire of the flesh and has nothing to do with the Spirit.
That is the miracle of Jesus Christ; through Jesus we have the redemption and righteousness we crave. He was perfect, whole, and without blame. The victory is His! Once you’ve accepted that as truth, God will give you permission to rest.
3. God gives us permission to rest.
The Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and will give rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. (Matthew 11:28-30).
He makes me lie down in green pastures; leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul and guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. (Psalm 23:2-3).
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 23:2-3).
I’m a creative type; naturally, my thoughts and energies go into a thousand different things at once. I often feel I’ll never
quite develop my full potential in one thing. I tend to beat myself up over that.
There is always a whisper of self doubt that I won’t ever be enough. I find I’m beating myself up over not being “productive enough” or the day not being “perfect enough”.
I crawled into bed that night and laid there quietly. My brain was free of the fog that is usually a thousand thoughts and anxieties. God whispered the words “I give you permission to rest” to my heart. I had never experienced that kind of peace and quiet inside my own head right before going to sleep.
It was such a gift and reminder that only God can provide the rest and peace that I truly crave.