I must admit I’ve struggled up to this very day with the desire to be perfect. Yet I fall short every time.
I have become defensive when I’m told I need to do something I know needs to be done. Or I can be self-condemning if I don’t complete a project on time or just right. If things don’t turn out the way I expected or wanted, I keep on with it until I can complete it right. If for some reason it did not reach the level of success I wanted, then I could easily lose self-esteem and confidence.
Perhaps this tendency developed when I was a child. I wanted to please my parents, especially my dad. I wanted to be accepted and loved by him. When I brought home a report card with an “A”, he’d ask me is that the best you could do? If it was a 91, then you can get a 95. Try harder. I was always told to try harder no matter how I did. If it was something I knew I could not be good at, there was not any reason for trying.
I’ve struggled with this for many years and this past week it has come to my attention as I identified the problem by the grace of God through His word. Oh how marvelous is the Word of God! His word is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. (2 Tim. 3:16) I needed it! The Lord knows what we need.
Through bloggy friends, Marina, Jerri [whom I just met through Marina], the chronological reading with Bev, Bible Gateway and my local women’s Bible study, the Lord showed me that HE will help me. He knows my difficulties and my fears. Here’s the scripture the Lord gave to me five times this week. Five different times between Tuesday and Saturday this scripture showed up for me:
Isaiah 41:10 AMP
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you [Shonda]; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden [Shonda] to difficulties, yes, I will help [Shonda]; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.
Were my actions of self-condemnation based in fear? I thought I loved and trusted my Lord. Why am I afraid? I could not control the circumstances nor the outcome of circumstances. I cant change things and make them the way I want them to be. I just cant do it. So I’m afraid. But I don’t have to fear, I can trust in my God to hold me in HIS hand. God is so much greater than my self-condemning heart and HE knows everything!
1 John 3:20 AMP
Whenever our hearts in [tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For]we are in God's hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him].
Well I had been accustomed throughout my life to hearing voices telling me I can do better. If I messed up, then I learned to listen to the critical voices. So now that no one is actually telling me those things, I told myself condemning words. I condemned myself for falling short of perfection. As I criticized myself, I felt depressed & heavy.
Proverbs 18:21 AMP
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
No wonder I felt heavy and depressed in spirit—I was eating the fruit of my tongue. Where did these thoughts and words come from? The evil one who is the accuser. (Rev. 12:10) What are we to do when those thoughts come to us?
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 HCSB
For although we are walking in the flesh, we do not wage war in a fleshly way, since the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge) of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
We can war in our own ways, our flesh and blood. But only in power through the Word of God can we demolish the thoughts that come up against the knowledge of God. His Word will not return void but will accomplish what it is sent to accomplish. (Is. 55:11)
By God’s grace I realized the battle is in the spirit and only by HIS word will I have victory in my life. I purchased index cards and pulled out the Sword (a.k.a. Word of God). I started writing scriptures that speak life to my life. I put these cards in my purse. I read them out loud.
I am more than a conqueror through HIM who loves me. (Romans 8:37) God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7) I can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6) I have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
The Lord helped me by guiding me to HIS word which is life through Jesus Christ. I am being held and retained by the Lord’s right hand. He teaches me. His grace forgave me. There is no way I can ever be perfect, but I can know that I am accepted and loved by the One who gave up HIS very own life so I can have life and have it abundantly—Jesus Christ!! (John 10:10)
The Lord is our Helper!
Engrafted by His Grace—
Note: I thank God for HIS love for me. The Lord used blogging friends to reach me. I thank you friends! Believers are in a spiritual battle and we need to know how to fight the evil one by the power of the blood of Jesus and the Word of God. To read more on this, please visit Jerri Phillips.