Monday, June 18, 2012

Chains of Perfectionism

You would not be pleased with sacrifices or I would bring them.  If I brought you a burnt offering, you would not accept it.  The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit.  A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.    Psalm 51:16-17 NLV

These are some of my favorite verses in the Bible.  Granted they are not your typical favorite verses. For most people the idea of being broken is not very appealing and I would have to agree.  But over the years God has shown me the freedom I have when I am broken and repentant.  Let me explain . . .

Since I can remember, I have pushed myself to be “perfect”.  Perfect as a mom, perfect in my job, perfect as a wife, perfect as a follower of Jesus, basically perfect in everything. It was a very tall order and I fell short of that mark pretty much ALL the time.

Perfectionism was a disease of my heart.  The law of perfectionism is this, “You must never make a mistake, you must never let someone down and you must always look like you have it all together (even if you don’t) or someone will discover who you truly are.” 

Perfectionism kept me from being honest with myself and with others.  It isolated me by pushing away the people I loved and the God who had redeemed me. 

“Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you.  I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.  Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.”  (Psalm 51:16-17  The Message)

God doesn’t want my perfectionism, my self-righteousness or something I’ve sacrificed so I’ll look good to my friends and family.  He wants my heart to be broken; to see the wrong and be truly sorry.  He desires a heart that doesn’t keep secrets but willingly lays claim to the wrong.

For a long time I didn’t understand this desire God had for me so I pushed for perfection and for most of the people who weren’t too close to me I looked the part.  But it was a façade; I looked good on the outside but was crumbling on the inside.  It wasn’t until God made me take a good hard look at myself that I saw my sin for what it really was – alienating me from God and those I loved.   Then I was finally able to let go of that all consuming desire to be perfect and what I found in its place was FREEDOM. 

Freedom to let go of what I thought I should be and freedom to become the person God intended me to be.  Freedom to reach out to others without fear.  Freedom to love unconditionally. 

Freedom to be the real me . . . broken and redeemed!

Are you a perfectionist?  Do you find yourself needing to be perfect in everything, never allowing people or for that matter, God to see your flaws?  God wants to set you free from the chains of perfection that bind you.  

Remember He doesn’t want perfection, He just wants a heart that is broken and repentant and He promises to do the rest.

Brokenness is what I long for
Brokenness  is what I need

Brokenness  is what You want for me,
Take my Heart and mold it
Take my mind, transform it
Take my will, comform it
To Yours oh, Lord                -by Micah Stampley

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