November 11, 2019
Striving For Perfection Makes Me More Imperfect
Writing these devotionals is so enjoyable and such a blessing to our staff and me in so many ways as we are especially blessed by the comments and feedback you send us. Seriously, your comments and feedback powerfully encourage and excite us. Why? Because every day we get to see what God is doing in your lives through us. That God would choose to partner with us is so exhilarating and purpose-giving. I am still amazed He wants to use us, when He is able to do it perfectly on His own. Stepping Stones has also been incredibly enriching to me because it pushes me to dig deep into God’s word regularly, and as I articulate His truth to someone else it convicts me to be real and practice what I preach.
Unfortunately, like all gifts and provisions from God in this world, there is a downside. Because of Satan’s schemes and my flesh (my me-centered nature), what God intends for good can be easily corrupted.
You see, I want to say so much in each Transformational Thought. Instead of just a feel-good message, I strive to deliver a thought that informs and inspires you to make a change so you can Iive the life God wants for you, that very day. Being a psychiatrist, I want to equip you with very practical tips you can immediately utilize to change one or more faulty life patterns and improve the strategies you use to fight against Satan’s attacks. Then I need to re-package 3 to 4 pages of content into a couple paragraphs, because not many will read it if it gets too long!
Well, being an engineer, I am a perfectionist. Satan uses that character flaw to try to suck the joy and excitement out of the blessing of being used by God to impact others. I’ve already written this one a couple times, wanting to make an impact, to be precise, catchy, brief, and practical. Why perfectionism? Unfortunately, it’s often about my issues and insecurities, and not about seeking God and serving Him well. I really have to be intentional about not falling into that trap. It’s important to remember that we live in a broken world, a world that is far from normal because it is tainted by sin. So much failure and frustration result from needing or seeking perfection in others, our circumstances, or ourselves.
Today, remember that yearning for perfection is not a bad thing in and of itself. God placed that yearning in your heart so you would search for Him. When you push for perfection, stop and evaluate. Is it for your image and driven by the opinions of others, or is it really for God? God doesn’t need you to impress Him with the perfect details. Look at David. He messed up a bunch of details, but yearned for God, just to hang out with Him. Spend time with Him, know Him, and follow Him and the perfecting is what He will do when you yield to His will. Whether you are pursuing perfection out of fear of failure or you are actually connecting with God and letting Him perfect you is your decision, so choose well.
Dear God, I know, Father, that my heart and soul contain many ill effects from the fall. As a result, I often try to achieve perfection apart from You. This sets me down a path of frustration, insecurity, inadequacy, and failure. I sadly admit, Father, that this wrong path also includes some form of idolatry – worshipping myself, other’s opinions, or even the task itself. I want to return to You Lord … to the path that leads to You. I will do this, Lord, by seeking You first and foremost. As I seek You, Father, I know You will set my feet on the right Stepping Stone … that You will give me a firm place to stand and the guidance to take the next right step. Help my search for perfection by pointing me to You. I pray in Jesus’ perfect name; and all God’s people say – AMEN!
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead Philippians 3:11-13
Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42