A do-over — I labored as a child to avoid hearing those words. Erasers were my forever companion — the big ones that didn’t tear away at your paper after the umpteenth rub. The goal was to get it absolutely right the first time — perish the thought of having to fix a project or rewrite sentences in an essay or recalculate a mathematical formula.
Halfway through my college experience I was given an assignment to write up what I considered to be a relatively easy project. And for someone who did well in writing and composing, I felt that it would be an ‘easy A.’ Not.
There I was again, smack in the middle of not one, not even two — but three revisions of this supposedly simple writing assignment. How could this be?
- Do you struggle with the disease to please?
- In what areas do you see this surface in your personality?
We perfectionists (I’m struggling to sit upright as I write that word) agonize over the most trivial of things in life for the sake of appearing error free. Somewhere in our earlier life, we ingested words that were laced with rejection and unworthiness, and tied them to our identity rather than the task at hand. We misinterpreted the error as the need to correct who we are rather than what we did. This ginormous misstep leads us down a path of walking on egg shells and suffering from the disease to please. After all, only the perfect ones are worthwhile, likable, chosen, favored, successful, remembered … Can anyone relate?
Let me speak as one who is a work in progress in the other direction. Being a perfectionist can put a real strain on relationships with the folks in your life that you treasure the most. Why? Because you start to project some of those expectations of yourself onto others, and frustrate the socks off of them because not everyone is aiming for that same level of achievement.
We need to come to terms with the fact that there are no badges to earn …
Ah, but GOD …
God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good and He validated it completely. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day. Genesis 1:31 AMP
In recent days, I’ve come to truly appreciate this verse. The word ‘everything’ in concert with all that GOD had made and topped with ‘it was very good‘ is the icing on the cake! Come rejoice with me, Friend, He declared everything He made — that includes us — was beyond just ‘good.’ GOD Almighty declared it all very good! That was a mic dropping moment long before the need for a mic.
When you arm wrestle with being (or not being) good enough you seldom walk away from that match with less than a few bruises — mainly to the ego. And that, my Friend, is straight up pride. Let’s get real here for a bit — don’t worry, no one will hear our conversation.
What is the real goal in our pursuit of perfectionism? Approval, Sister — flat out. So then we have to ask ourselves, ‘Whose approval are we seeking?’ If it’s another human being, you’re gambling on them having a good hair day with a full cup of coffee. But if we’re seeking the approval of the One Who crafted us out of His love for us, it’s been long said ahead of our request to hear it. And guess what? When GOD created us He got it right the first time — no need to change the original blueprints. So what He saw was perfection.
Beyond the approval is the acceptance.
Long ago, he already decided to accept us into his family as his children, because of Jesus Christ. He chose us to belong to him because it made him very happy. As a result, we praise him, because he is great and he has been so kind to us. He has given us so much because of his Son, whom he loves very much. Ephesians 1:5-6 EASY
Sister, if you and I are in Christ, it’s a done deal! We are already accepted. We are accepted because of Christ. Our Scripture verse here reminds us that He decided this long ago. Jesus took it upon Himself to settle the matter of acceptance at the highest level. And there is absolutely no changing that.
For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced — beyond any doubt] that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other crated thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 AMP
Girlfriend, there is nothing that can cause us to be ‘disqualified’ nor is there any error or mistake big enough to blot us out of GOD’s love. Whatever you’ve done or facing right now could never be cause for rejection from your Heavenly Father. If there’s need for repentance then go there, confess it and be done with it — He’s waiting with Arms bigger than your imagination. If the action goes beyond that, ask Him for guidance and wisdom with the strength and courage to follow through with what needs to be done by you; He’ll take care of the rest.
A do-over in GOD’s Eyes may be a life lesson for us in that season. So have a seat and join me for some teaching from the Master Himself. But more than that, it is an invitation to lean in close and depend on Him for His Perfection — not for us to earn or achieve perfection.
My days of working hard to accomplish error-free tasks never end. But striving for perfection as though it influences the way GOD sees me — I’m learning how to call that out. I need not look very far for a reminder; it’s as close as the end of my pencil. That eraser keeps me real.
One stroke at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time, Sweet Friend. Trust the One Who says, ‘it is very good.’ Because if it’s very good for GOD, it is good enough indeed.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary