The Paralyzing Pursuit of Perfection

I am realizing a subtle trap that Satan has laid down for you and for me. We live in an airbrushed, perfection-demanding, fake culture that has us believing that we are not someone until we are somebody. Somebody who continually has to bring her A game to anything in which she is involved.

The longer I am in ministry, the more I realize I have given in to the lie that I need to pass up on what God has for me because I don't do it perfectly. I compare myself in ministry: with this teacher of the Word, that one's ability to draw a crowd, the way God has given her the gift of humor...

I compare myself to my friends: the way this one mothers her children who are leaders in my children's youth group. My other friend's ability to be organized and get things done efficiently keeps me from trying. I fall into the quagmire of the comparison pit and always, without exception, think of myself as the loser. The one who has nothing to contribute.

It's a lie. A diabolical lie from hell itself. And it's directly aimed at us to keep us from our God-given purpose for living on planet Earth.

God has been dealing with me over and over again in this area. The most effective times of ministry have come when He has shown off His strength in my weakness. When I have dared to give Him the right to control the outcome, even if I come off sobbing and unpolished, real ministry has happened.

There is no one who has it altogether. And when I refuse to glory in my weakness so that He can use that brokenness, the glory goes to me and a transforming work of the Holy Spirit is greatly hindered. Mostly in transforming my own life.

Weakness is a magnet for others when we make Jesus famous through those thorns and foibles and mess ups we are willing to share with others. The facade of perfection is offensive to those we are most trying to impress because it is isolating and discouraging.

Worst of all, we are giving in to defeat because the enemy of our souls has convinced us that we have to have it altogether, do it all right, and never mess up before we can do anything of significance for Jesus Christ and His kingdom.

May our eyes be opened to see the truth!

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

                                                                                                                    2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV