On Monday I detailed my path to perfectionism. Ironic that the desire for excellence, something very godly indeed, should so often derail women, spiritually! I think this is true for many things which we encounter in the World: our fallen nature takes the things of God and twists them until they threaten to separate us from God. There is a danger to listening to that “little voice” in your head, if you do not filter it with the Word.
If we are seeking excellence rather than seeking God, we heading for trouble.
The mind is the battlefield. While we must honor God in our work, that includes submitting to Him in our schedules and in any possible outcome of our endeavors. When we cannot relinquish control of these things to God, it is because we are honoring ourselves over Him. Surely, He knows best in terms of what is required of me this day? Surely I must work please Him today rather than working to please myself or others. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ (Gal 1:10).
I constantly remind myself of this: if it were necessary for this particular thing to happen in the way I expected, then God would have made it happen, in that way. OR: If an event or decision does not go my way, God’s has willed this decision. He has determined that the thing which I required is not required. I remember that He is wise, He is powerful and He is good…and somehow this brings me tremendous peace.
Peace is a choice. Here is what the Bible has to say about our thought-life:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9).
The excellence we should focus on is the excellence of Christ.
Easy to say…hard to do! But here is the Bible verse that finally gave me peace: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). I have written about what this means to me before, but suffice it to say now, this verse gave me hope.
I had read the words many times before, but never really connected with them personally. Suddenly, I knew what “new creation” meant. The work is already done. I am a new creation. Because of Jesus, I am declared good enough. If I choose, instead, to make my agenda be about my flaws, or when I bow down at the altar of perfectionism, I am insinuating that His plan for my day, my life, my salvation, is not good enough.
Trying to be the perfect mom and the perfect wife and the perfect Christian was a recipe for failure. But these words have become the Bread of Life to me and my family: Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25).
Hearing and Doing the Word are to be the foundation of our “house”. I am reading a book that argues the Bible is not a list of do’s and don’ts. Yes, it is so much more than that. The Word of God is a revolutionary change agent. The basis of The Family Workshop is this: it is in hearing and doing God’s Word, that we are changed, by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
We will move forward with this exciting discussion as the weeks unfold. But we begin by examining, over the next few posts, the firm foundation upon which our “house” must be built: hearing and doing.
justAgirl…just like you!