I started another semester of my attempt at a college degree and I am taking a rather large workload. This works against my personality in so many ways. You see, I am a bit of a perfectionist. Getting a 100% at the end of the semester is the ultimate reward. I actually get disappointed if I get below an A on an assignment. Now, I don’t have a perfect 4.0 GPA, but it is still pretty high up there. I only say these things because I am trying to show a major flaw in myself….perfectionism.
Did you know perfectionism is most definitely NOT a good thing?! I have had to work on this in myself for probably the last couple of decades since I was even a child. I realize much of my perfectionism comes from trying to please a parent who quite possibly, I will never please, but it is still wrong. How many times have I redone something that my husband or my sons have done because it isn’t the way I would do it; which of course is the perfect way? I stress over coursework because I am afraid I will do bad and people may think I am imperfect. Well, there is another problem with perfectionism. It allows fear to have a foothold in your life. I have become afraid of being imperfect.
This is an ongoing process for me. I have to sit back and realize that I only need to do my best with school. I have a fantastic GPA and I feel like I am learning quite a bit; which is kind of the point! When I redo something that my sons have done, I am telling them that what they did isn’t good enough. I know at times kids don’t do their best, but often enough my boys work hard to clean something and I have to praise them for what they did and thank them. I don’t want them to give up because they think they will never measure up. When I redo something my husband has worked hard on, I am telling him the same thing…what he does just isn’t good enough; YOU aren’t good enough; YOU aren’t as perfect as I am. Sounds a little like pride too doesn’t it?
This is a reminder to myself just as much as it is to possibly help something out there. I can’t get stressed over one question wrong on a test. I don’t need to check and recheck household chores because I saw a speck of lint on my floor. Well, I may recheck my boys’ bathroom because, let’s get real, boys can be a little nasty!
Any comments to add to this? How do you find yourself buckling under the pressure of perfectionism??
2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
1 Peter 5:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
I can be honest. Sometimes I struggle with humility. My personality demands justice and justice now. Sometimes I think God’s timing just isn’t fast enough. The opposite of humility is pride. I am being proud when I think my justice should be God’s justice. I could fill up this whole posting with so many scriptures on humility and God’s timing and God’s justice because is it so important. God doesn’t want or need us running around and enforcing our own forms of justice. Oftentimes we use manipulation as a tool to get justice. If one of my sons doesn’t think one of his brothers was punished enough, he often does his own form of punishment, or tries to manipulate me into adding more punishment. We see it in our children and we don’t tolerate it. Why should we tolerate it in ourselves as adults? We try to teach our children humility, yet we put ourselves above those standards.
If somebody hurts us, not only do we want them punished, we want everybody around us to know how they hurt us. Why do we spread discord among brothers? I think we all have that super close friend that we can talk to and they can talk to us where everything is private and we trust each other. That is not what I am talking about. How many times have we talked about a loved one negatively in order to manipulate or punish them, and when things finally get dealt with, we find ourselves wondering why our friends and family have ill will toward that loved one? We are sowing seeds of discord. We are gossiping. We are being proud and not humble.
When we lower ourselves, God raises us up. I know I would rather God raise me up than man. I would rather keep my mouth shut and learn to hold my tongue than to offend my King. Lord help me and all of us to learn what humility truly is. Help me learn that love and humility go together. Help me to learn that God is a just God and there is absolutely nothing He does not see. There is nothing He cannot change, fix, repair or correct. He loves us so much that He actually wants justice for those who have hurt us. Help me allow God to be my everything. God doesn’t need me, but I need Him!! Thank you Lord that Your mercies are new every morning!!