Below is a conversation I had with Betty about perfectionism. Her words are in red:
Jesus is satisfied when we are trying to stay in truth as best we can. When we are out of truth, we say we’re sorry. Our pride wants to condemn us and tell us we aren’t good enough. Jesus said, “I am truth.” If Jesus is truth, and we want to be in union with Jesus, then we need to be in truth because that’s who He is. He can’t unite Himself to a lie, because it goes against His essence. He’s truth. The inflated ego in us wants us to be perfect. That’s a lie, because we are created as creatures to learn by trial and error. Who are we to demand that we’ve already arrived? It’s going against who God made us to be. Humans don’t have instincts like animals. The Perfectionist is a deceit because she’s demanding we be without error. That’s impossible, because we were created to learn by trial and error, and here we are beating ourselves up. We need a revamping. It’s a big lie when we tell ourselves not to make mistakes. If we weren’t supposed to make mistakes, God would have set us up differently. Beating ourselves up doesn’t give God glory.
Sometimes our condemner can come out when we get around certain people. We can bring Jesus into those situations and ask Him to take that condemner in us, and help us stop the condemnation. “Lord, help me to see myself from your eyes and not be so critical.” We need to make a choice. We can ask Mary to take the super critical part of us to Nazareth. We can be the creator of our own lack of comfort. We can ask the Lord to help us stop being so critical. We can become too self-absorbed. The more we focus on what we dislike about ourselves, the deeper the depression.
“In Christ Jesus, there are no comparisons.” Comparisons leave people feeling not good enough. “Lord Jesus, help me develop an awareness when I slip into a deceit that I need to compare myself to others.”
My mom was telling me about a memory she had from when we were growing up. She said she walked out of our rooms knowing she’d blown it with us. Instead of beating herself up, she said to the Lord “And you still love me.” If I’m good enough for Jesus, I’m good enough for myself. She said it was helpful to say it over and over. As we celebrate our nation’s freedom, may we experience freedom from the tyranny of Perfectionism