Thursday, February 12, 2009

God Doesn't Call Us to Perfection

Perfection - something we all strive for, but in reality - it's something that we will never be able to accomplish here. There was only One who did, and He doesn't call us to perfectionism - He calls us to do what He asks with a willing heart, and he will use that to His glory.

I am writing on this subject today, because it was part of my homework from the class on Esther.

Let me give you some background on the scenario. Esther was a Jewish girl who had been put into the position of the Queen of Persia. An edict had been declared by the king's right hand man, to eliminate all Jews - a holocaust, much like what Adolph Hitler carried out. Her uncle, Mordecai, said that she must go before the king to beg for mercy for her people. The law at that time was that if anyone were to go to the king's court without being summoned, it was a death sentence. The only way to avoid that certain event, was if the king extended his royal scepter.

Esther fasted and prayed for 3 days, along with all the Jews, and after those three days, she donned her royal attire and dared to go into the King's presence.

Now from the notes in the workbook, Beth Moore gives her input as to what she thinks might have been running through the mind of the Queen.

"Esther did what she needed to do, clearly the will of God, but not as one perfectly collected and confident. Beloved, do we believe that the only way to do something acceptably is to do it perfectly? God is more aware than we of just how much He requires of us. He knows how hard it's going to be for us.

God has opened my eyes to the stronghold of perfectionism through loved ones who share their struggle. It's not only painful, but it can be debilitating!

Do you struggle with perfectionism and perhaps could use a little ministry? Do you feel if you can't do something to perfection, you ought not bother? Do you frequently feel pressure to perform tasks that will result in applause? When you blow it, do you wait a long time before trying again? Do you feel the need to always make an "A"?

Perfectionism is a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as being unacceptable.

I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't do our best. I'm simply saying that sometimes just surviving certains tasks without falling apart is our best and in those times God is not ashamed of our performance. He's proud of us for fighting overwhelming human emotions to do His will. God isn't interested in our stellar performance, but in our hearts. He loves our willingness and obedience despite our insecurities."

Beth continues with this story from someone in her own life, and I think there are many of us who could say that we know of a similar situation in either our own life, or in the lives of others.

"I know a dad who videos all his gifted son's athletic events and then hardly gets through the front door of their home bedore he sits the boy down - still covered in sweat - to view and critique his performance. The kid is in middle school, for crying out loud. Can't a touchdown still be a touchdown even if the boy tripped his way across the goal line"?

That lesson hit home with me, because there are times when I struggle with doing some things to perfection - mine usually is in the dolls and such that I make. I am my own worst critic, and worry myself about whether or not the recipient of my creations, sits there and critiques my work as harshly as I tend to do. I need to let go and realize that I'm just me - I'm going to give my heart into each creation, and make it to the best of my abilities. No, it's not going to be perfect - and what I've really got to come to fully realize is that neither is anyone elses!
We all struggle with this to some degree in one or more areas of our life. God wants to free us from that. It's not worth the consequences that come with the stress of perfectionism. It can wreak havoc on our health, our relationships, and in our emotional and psychological well being.

We need to remember that in the eyes of our Lord - we are perfect in Him. He's not concerned if we look or act perfect - if our homes don't look like something found in a magazine - if our children don't look or act perfectly at all times. He's interested in our hearts. PERIOD!

Search your heart and ask the Lord to show you areas in your life where you struggle with this, and ask Him to free you from this burden. It might not be an easy or immediate deliverance, but He will be right there with us every step of the way, strengthening us with each and every step we take to our freedom.


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