Perfectionists can be stressed out people because perfectionists often keep up appearances to be approved by others. They embrace the pride from their works of perfection to be accepted. When they do well, they feel good about themselves. When they fail at their efforts; they feel as if they aren’t good enough. Perfectionists have inner issues that they need to overcome to be free from the rabbit hole of perfectionism. Embracing the fact that we are humans with weaknesses can be a great start to overcome perfectionism and embrace the grace God has already set aside for our weaknesses. One of our greatest Biblical teachers and Apostles, Paul in scripture shared the below scripture as a personal lesson he’d learned from the Lord:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 2:9
He learned to embrace humility through embracing his weakness in the sight of God’s power. This is extraordinarily important in the lives of believers. As salvation does not occur by man’s ability alone, but by God’s power. Humility is required to invite God’s power not only to secure salvation but to walk in security in every area of our lives.
Are you afraid you will not measure up to God’s standard for your gift? Or are you afraid you won’t measure up in representing God in other ways? Things like your ability to practice self-control, your dress, your marriage, parenting, or being parented? We can have weaknesses in any area and through humility and looking to God experience the success we are afraid we will not measure up to.
So many Christians neglect trusting God through humility and trust their works instead. Perfectionism becomes their God and when they are successful; they feel good about themselves. When they fall; however, they fall harder because they depended on their own strength in the first place to succeed.Perfectionism is a trap. Brene’ Brown shares that perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief. It is practiced to avoid shame and to gain the approval of others. Perfectionism keeps up the appearance of being perfect, but none of us are perfect. We are only human. Humans make mistakes. Humility allows us to be compassionate toward ourselves and to love ourselves through our imperfections.
I love the saying that says:
Work like it all depends on you, but also pray like it all depends on God.
I’m not teaching imbalance here. I don’t want anyone to walk away and say to themselves. They’ll no longer put any effort into offering their best. That isn’t what I am saying at all. After all, scripture tells us faith without works is dead.
What I am saying is don’t be so hard on yourself and others that hardcore perfectionism is what you lean on to meet the status quo. The status quo isn’t always God’s status quo. Sometimes, it’s a group of people’s status quo for themselves that isn’t rooted in a balanced interpretation of scripture. In other cases, a person’s maturity level has not bought them to a place of fruit in Christ yet.
Whatever the case may be, being too hard on ourselves with perfectionism shows a dependence on ourselves. It’s another form of pride. Pride is often the precursor to a fall that takes place because someone relied on their own strength or ability too much.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Embracing humility, on the other hand, leans on God. Someone who embraces humility embraces the fact they are weak in various areas. The result is receiving God’s grace for their weakness. This is how we all make it in Christ. It isn’t because we’ve worked so hard and have never made any mistakes.
We all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard for our lives. This is why we embrace Christ and what he did for us in paying the penalty for our shortcomings. We know we could not do this on our own.
The Bible is clear. God gives his grace to the humble not the prideful:
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
A final reason it’s so important for believers to embrace humility as a way of life is because we are the examples God’s left in the world for men to begin to know Christ. If our example is perfectionism to the world, how will they know they can also be saved?
Perfectionism and religious pride are one way to stand in the way of sinners as God warns against in Psalms 1. Many sinners outside of Christ already feel alienated from God. Some struggle to believe that salvation in Christ could be a path for them as they do not feel they measure up.
Many feel as though they have to have a level of perfection before they come to Christ when all that’s required is genuine faith and humility toward God. God works with us where we are at. He allows us to become sanctified through a process of getting to know him. If we were more honest about our struggles and how we’ve overcome them; perhaps more would follow our example.
When we receive God’s grace we can better give ourselves grace embracing humility and avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism.
This content is published by Russelyn Williams of Intercession for A Generation on https://intercession4ageneration.org/.For more encouraging content & books on “Life & Relationship Lessons from a Biblical & Practical Perspective” please visit https://russelynwilliams.com/.