I love reading because it opens us up to the worldview and experiences of others in a way few other things do. I enjoy podcasts and movies too, but there’s something so special about books. It takes time and devotion to sit with the words and really allow them to wash over you. Reading a book is an investment and a commitment.
Recently I read the book To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins, a social media influencer who I get an absolute kick out of. The book catalogs the year-long bike ride he took from Portland to Patagonia. He experienced so much during that year which led to some profound changes in how he saw the world and the way he now lives his life. He was able to become more fully himself with each mile he rode and was able to shake off the false parts of himself that he had started to believe as true.
While reading, I had this thought: Jesus is perfect, not a perfectionist.
As I’ve discussed on here before, I am a recovering perfectionist. Not only do I want to produce things that are perfect, I want to be perfect, which is entirely impossible. God is the only one who’s perfect, something I constantly have to remind myself of.
Pursuing excellence is trying to be like God.
Pursuing perfection is trying to be God.
This distinction is one I’ve been wrestling with for quite some time. I used to be able to talk myself into believing that my perfectionism was a good thing, that I was just stewarding well what God had given me by trying to make it perfect. But there came the point where I could no longer believably tell myself that lie.
Then I had to choose to make a change or intentionally tell myself a lie—have you ever had a moment like that?
I’m not perfect at rejecting my perfectionist tendencies, but I’m growing in this area. By understanding that the root of the problem wasn’t my wanting to be perfect but my desire to be God, I was able to address the real issues going on in my heart. I am now more aware of the root of the problems and continually submit those to the Lord and ask him to heal those improper places in me. When perfectionism begins to rear its ugly head yet again, I’m able to stop and reflect on why I’m reacting in this way and adjust accordingly.
Destroying the lies of perfectionism (or any other deep-seated lies we believe) is a daily process we must engage in. Thankfully we don’t have to do it on our own, but we can rely on the power of the Holy Spirit working in us—and what good news that is!
Are you a recovering perfectionist?
How do you daily fight those deep-seated lies that are so easy to believe?
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