Archive | September, 2015

The Pain of Perfection

30 Sep

I’ve spent my entire life being viewed as “perfect”. For some reason I was labeled as the Golden Child in my family and neighborhood. I had perfect posture, hair, smile, grades, behavior. My mother would always get complemented on how “perfect” I was. But I wasn’t perfect (my mom knew it but she wouldn’t blow my cover). I had a perfect image and I wanted to break free from it. Being perfect is painful.

I spent my entire adult life fighting the stigma of “perfection” only to become entrapped again by perfection. When I became a Christian, I suddenly had the desire to be perfect. I wanted my life to be a complete reflection of Christ. I think I took the phrase, “go and sin no more” too far.  I just knew that I would trust God and would do nothing wrong ever again. So I changed my life. I almost eliminated my social life, I stopped cursing, I stopped listening to rap music, my clothes were mostly modest mute colors, my diet was impossibly strict, I sowed financial seeds into ministries, I donated time teaching the gospel, I volunteered in ministry (blah, blah, blah)…All of this and I still couldn’t manage a perfect life. I still had moments of sin. I was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. The problem was that I didn’t trust God. I began working and changing myself instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to change me. My Christian experience was based on my works.

Perfectionism is a work of the flesh. In other words, I depend on myself to get everything accomplished. I was my source. The time that I spent studying would lead to my great knowledge. The time that I spent volunteering would lead to my rewards in heaven. Sowing money into ministries would lead to financial blessings for me. I could go on and on…I believed that my activities would lead to my blessed, sin free life. Wrong Answer!

Romans 3:23 tells us that we all fall short. We do not have the power to live a perfect life.  God in all of his infinite wisdom knew that some of us would struggle with perfection. And that we would be devastated when we failed (because we ALL fail). He lets us know He knows that we love Him and wants our lives to please Him. He forewarned us that all things will work together for our good and will be used for His purpose (Romans 8:28).  His grace kept me from being destroyed (mostly from myself because perfection is self-destructive). He loved me and my lowest points. He never abandoned me. When I thought I was totally lost to sin, He was showing me his grace.

God used my shortcomings to teach me about Him. I will fall but God’s grace is loving and forgiving. He loves me no matter what. Even when I don’t serve in ministry that He will still bless me. When I don’t sow financial seeds that he still blesses me finances. It has nothing to do with my works.  He loves because He promised that He would. And since He is perfection, I know that He is true to His word.

Unapologetically,

Arizona R.

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