Betty: The Perfectionist’s reign is of the dark one. It needs to give itself up. Think what the Perfectionist leads you to.
AM: Anxiety, lack of sleep, frustration, impatience, disappointment, depression, anger…
Betty: Okay, these are the fruits of the enemy and our own willfulness. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference where Satan leaves off and we begin. I hate to say that, but it’s true. We act like Satan himself. “Lord, give us a break. We really need your help to get out of these bad habits that we picked up.” I’m hearing that part say, “Everybody does them.” Foo. It’s time to give it up, and let the Lord reign. “Lord, set us free from our own dominating, determining self that wants to rule as though it’s king.” There’s a part of me saying, “You’re not the Lord of the world. Jesus is. So, tell that Perfectionist to back off. Tell her to give up her illusions, and drop dead like she’s supposed to.” That doesn’t sound nice. But it’s the truth. She just won’t die when she should. She’s really out there stirring up trouble. It’s getting near the time for you to give this up. There’s a maturity in the spiritual life. There’s a point at which, with your will and God’s grace, you need to make up your mind that your feelings are no longer in charge. You’re not gonna put up with their domination. They’re “need, need, need, need” as though they come first. Since when did God die and put your feelings in charge? I haven’t seen the announcement if it happened. But that’s the way we act. We act like God died, and now we’re gonna run on our feelings. It’s no wonder the world is in such a mess. Because feelings cannot handle what obedience to God can handle. Yet, we could keep putting our feelings in charge as though it didn’t work the last time, but it’s gonna work this time. Is it the push from the concupiscence of our flesh, the effects of original sin?
What happened to Adam and Eve? They were one with God’s will. Then they said, “I want to be like God.” They refused to submit. And so they put themselves, their flesh, in charge. And boy did they fall. And we’ve been falling ever since. We put flesh in charge, and yet where does our strength really come from? What is the point at which God can reach us the easiest? It’s thru our will. It’s when our will unites with God. It’s when we decide to lay our will on the altar and let His will take over. That’s what really makes the difference. When that occurs, spiritual maturity has happened in the person. And at that point, God can take off within them and achieve His ends as they achieve holiness. Because they’ve died to their will, and they let His take over. But there has to be a decision. At some point, they have to want and deeply desire it. It’s the wane of their surrender and death of the will over their feelings that want to be in charge. Until we make that decision, the feelings are gonna reign. I can’t say I’ve achieved fullness of that. But more and more, I feel inside myself the letting go and wanting what achieves God’s glory over what I feel like. It’s like somebody will do something cruddy and I feel like x, y, and z. Then I say, “Oh no, Betty. Stop the nonsense.” Then, I see the Lord’s love coming into them. I let go of any anger, resentment, and judgment. I let it all die. It doesn’t matter. I just seek that person’s good. It’s a will choice. Nobody can do it for me. It’s a decision deep in my head. Is the Divine Will going to reign? Or is the concupiscence and the lie of Satan saying, “Give into the flesh, and you’ll be as God. You’ll know good and evil?”
AM: Not if we can live in the Divine Will.
Betty: But you make it sound as though it’s gonna come from outside of you. It really can come from inside. You ask God for the grace. Maybe that’s your focus. But wait for His grace to operate. Our will has to say yes. We have to open the door. God has profound respect for the human will. He’s not going to force increasing His presence upon you and I, unless we are increasingly opening the doors deep inside of us to say the “yes” to let go to anything that opposes that. So, be alert and attentive..
Are you willing to let go of any anger, resentment, and judgment and make the choice to choose God’s will? It’s a will choice to seek another’s good rather than letting our emotions take over. Open the doors deep inside and say “yes” to let go of anything that opposes God’s will.