Do you feel not quite good enough much of the time?
Avoid starting projects for worry you’ll fail?
Miss deadlines because you’re still working to get it just right?
Fear others seeing less than your best?
Is "average" an ugly word?
If so, it's likely you are plagued by perfectionism. I talked about this some in my devotion today published with Proverbs 31.
PERFECTIONISM = a set of self-defeating thoughts and behaviors driving you to set, and to expect to reach, excessively high or unrealistic goals.
As I pointed out in the devotion, it usually causes us to hyper-focus on our appearance and performance rather than our motives and character. Plus, it often adds emotional instability to our lives.
Sometimes it only manifests in one area of our life like our job, our craft or the cleanliness of our home.
Other times it runs rampant, causing us to be super-controlling. Or, on the flip side, to slack off and procrastinate because if we don't think we can do it perfectly, we don't want to try.
And when perfectionism comes to church, it sets us on a misguided path of achieving righteousness with our works, or earning God's favor. Talk about setting excessively high goals!
Our perfectionistic striving often leaves us feeling like we come up short. Like we just don't fully have what it takes. So 2 Peter 1:3 has some good news for us:
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (NIV)
That's the Bible telling you that you have what it truly takes. You are fully capable - in Christ you have access to everything you need - to live the life that God creates for you.
Maybe not to live the life you want to create for yourself, but for the life He wants to create for you. Which, trust me on this, that is the life you really want.
Leave a comment telling me how perfectionism usually raises its ugly head in your life, and I'll pray for you in this. You can pray for me as well to focus on my character over my performance.
And if you want more on this topic, I elaborate further and give a short Bible study on it in chapter 7 of my book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know. I'll pick a random winner from today's comments to receive a copy.
Have a terrific day - without sweating the small stuff. (wink)