Perfectionism: refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.
Most who struggle with perfectionism (present company included) can agree that holding yourself to such unrealistic expectations can lead to:
Self Loathing. Frustration. Discouragement. Exhaustion. Ect…ect…ect
But God, in His loving kindness, is saying to me over and over these last couple weeks:
…be gracious with yourself…
God does not expect perfection.
WOOSH! Freedom! Lord, help me to fully grasp this!
Last weekend the Lord led me to Isaiah 30:18, the NIV reads like this:
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!”
Now…there is a lot to unpack here but I want to focus on the grace part. The verses right before this are describing people, God’s chosen people BTW, who had rejected Him…who sought protection elsewhere. This section in my Bible is actually called “Woe to the Obstinate Nation”. Obstinate meaning, stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so. And yet, God breaks in and says in verse 18 that He longs to be gracious to them, the obstinate nation! In verse 19 He goes on to say “how gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you!”
So, if God, who actually is perfection, can be so incredibly gracious to me, who actually can never be perfection…can long to be gracious towards us even when we’ve rejected Him, we can certainly learn from our Father, and be gracious with ourselves and those around us.
With love in Christ Jesus ❤
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. -1 Peter 1:2