I’ve always struggled with perfectionism. Whether it’s me not feeling pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough, curvy enough, healthy enough, like I’m doing enough or just enough period, I had to realize that none of those thoughts are from God. I am beginning to see the beauty in my progress, how far I’ve come and just how much God loves me, flaws and all. Yeah, I fall short, but His grace covers me. She is progress, not perfection.
As women we are so bombarded with with the world’s standards of how we ought to be. If you’re not a certain size, then you’re overweight. If you aren’t eating 100% plant-based or according to the new fad diet, then you’re unhealthy. If you aren’t cleaning your home daily or if it’s not Pinterest-worthy, then you’re dirty. If you’re a working mom, then you don’t care about your kids. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, then you have no personal ambitions or real goals or you’re just lazy. If you’re an entrepreneur or striving to be one, then you need to be working just as hard, if not harder, than the next entrepreneur. And so many more. I have to admit that I fall under the influence or pressure of many of these worldly standards and I become so hard on myself when I don’t measure up.
I shared a while back that I struggle with perfectionism and I’m overly critical of myself. If I make a mistake, don’t meet a deadline, feel like I could be doing more I will beat myself up about it. I will constantly think about it and end up feeling stressed and anxious. It wasn’t until I started inviting God into my life on a daily basis in an intentional way that I started realizing what I was doing and understanding why I did it (I praise God for my social work background and ability to be self-aware). God had to show me that the world’s standards of perfection are #1 not from Him and #2 are a lie because the world is not perfect. He showed me that as long as I continue to chase after worldly perfection I will never measure up and will continue to feel inadequate – it’s a never-ending cycle.
God has shown me that His love and His grace covers my shortcomings and all the things that I think I am not. He doesn’t expect any of the above mentioned from me, He just wants my heart. The more I surrender those thoughts, those unrealistic standards to Him, the more I realize that His yoke is easy and the burden/pressure of worldly perfection is not from Him. He’s most concerned about perfecting my character for His kingdom and I’ve come to appreciate the progress in that.
I want to encourage you to focus on the progress you’ve made in allowing God to perfect your character for His kingdom. Romans 3:23 reminds us that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We all mess up, we all make mistakes and do things over and over that we said we wouldn’t do. We don’t measure up, we have many flaws, but God’s love and His grace covers all of that. You may not be perfect, but you are God’s work in progress 💛
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