Live Loved

We have been talking about the inward work of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, we expect an overnight work but in reality, God spends our whole life carefully molding us into the image of our Jesus. It takes time. What we need to understand is that when Jesus was born, He was fully God and fully human. When we are born, we are just fully human. We don’t have the God element. That means the perfection that we seek to find within ourselves is not in our humanity but is found in the perfect God who dwells within us.

I used to have perfectionist tendencies and I hated it because it meant I was disappointed more times than I would like to admit. It also meant I could be so hard on myself. Therefore, what would happen was that when someone else pointed out something I did not do right, it felt like they were piling on. I was already aware of my failures and imperfections, there was already a lot going on inside. So I would come across as a bit defensive.

Is anyone else like that? If you are not like that that is all good. You can read this for your friend, haha! Truth is, when people point something out, usually they are not doing it to attack you. But we all have blind spots. Things in us or about us that we don’t see until someone points it out.

Having perfectionist tendencies creates a breeding ground for anxiety, discontentment, disappointment, fear and even depression. You are always reaching for something that always seems out of reach. Or you want everyone around you to think you’ve got it all figured out, so you hide your flaws and suffer in isolation.

I can assure you right now, that is not God’s best for you or me. God does not want us striving for perfection. We can strive for excellence and to do everything well as unto the Lord, but we need to get the idea of the perfect spouse, the perfect event, the perfect kid, the perfect job, the perfect anything out of our heads. Only God is perfect.

What I have had to learn in my walk with God is that I will never be perfect. No matter how many times I re-read that email or re-word that post, there is always going to be something that could have been done better. Striving for perfection is exhausting.

When we are not striving for perfection, we are looking for quick fixes. Quick answers, microwave miracles. I heard someone once say, God is a crock pot God. He likes to take His time! This begs the question, why are we in such a rush? If we base our life experiences off Instagram posts or movies, we will be disappointed. Because what is usually resolved in an hour and a half in one sitting with popcorn and a large coke, in reality could take years to resolve.

Life is complicated and imperfect. We are complicated and imperfect. Yet, God loves us so very much and wants the best for us. He knows all our flaws, all our mistakes and yet He loves us unconditionally. That is love with no conditions. Striving for perfection holds us hostage to a reality we cannot grab hold of on this side of life. Looking for quick fixes ends up setting us back instead of driving us forward.

Both these things, perfectionist tendencies and looking for quick fixes reveal a lack of faith or lack trust in God. If we truly believe that God can cause all things to work together for our good, then we know that flaws and all, whatever it is, it is in the hands of the perfect God who can make it all make sense. We make mistakes along the way, but we serve the God who can turn it all around.

We just need to live loved. That is, we need to let go of this need to prove ourselves, which is really the heart of perfectionism, and know that God loves us just the way we are. We lay our lives and our plans at God’s feet and say, “Whether it happens the way I want it to or when I want it to or not, I will trust You Lord.” He has your best interests at heart.

Love and blessings,

Melissa Tsingano

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