“When the standard of perfection is a veneer itself we have no hope but to despair.”- Matt Chandler
High performance, flawless execution, lack of blemishes and standard of constant excellence. The six pack abs, perfectly proportioned body, the immaculate hair and the symmetrical face. It is the strive to be the best and the greatest person to everyone who knows you. It is the subconscious desire to be on the same level as God, and it is a bottomless pit that ends in nothing but strife, anxiety, despair, depression and never being good enough. The fight for perfection will make you a slave to the struggle.
Being a perfectionist has been my biggest struggle. It has become an idol that has ruled my life and so many of the decisions I have made. It has crippled me to comparison and internal competition to all those around me. I do not know how to rest where I am at. How to celebrate in little victories instead of immediately fighting to move up the ladder. How to be confident in the person and image that Christ has made me. I want the glory and the recognition. I have battled internal sins, but yet put on the appearance that everything is amazing. I show the world an outside that does not reflect the heart.
Lately I have been grieved by this battle. I have been going through Matt Chandler’s series from Village Church called a Beautiful Design. He speaks about the woman’s struggle and how so many women battle comparison and perfectionist mentalities. He also speaks of how these battles reek of death and destruction. It’s why so many ladies are more prone to depression and suicide because we are striving to be something we can never be… perfect. We are paralyzed by the fear of failure and of lacking in ability. Instead of trying and overcoming we already doom ourselves to failure. To a knowing that it will not work out. My heart is pained with conviction knowing just how much this defines me. It keeps me from being able to fully be happy. Because when perfection is not met I punish myself with guilt and self loathing. I so often settle instead of continuing to press on because I tell myself it wouldn’t have worked out anyways. I allow my confidence to be shattered at a drop of a hat. In the same way an alcoholic is ruled by the beverage I am ruled by the thoughts. A strange and internal addiction to the pain of never measuring up. A crutch that cripples the good that God desires to use.
In the series Matt Chandler encourages people to be honest with where they are at. To embrace the struggles and the dark times. To get your eyes on Jesus. He is the only one who is perfect, who can not fail and loves us regardless of our shortcomings. He knows the beginning from the end. He knows the struggle is real. That life gets hard and dark times come. He uses our failures and dark times and doubts to grow us. When life is all rainbows and sunshine we so often forget to lean in on His grace. We may give a quick shout out, but are just as quick to take credit for the good. With Christ we have hope in the despair. He already knows our short coming and imperfections. We know that God never changes His mind on us. That He isn’t scouring our Instagram saying you only got 20 likes, 50 likes, 100 likes that is not enough and nobody likes you… you are no longer worthy of my love. You ate a piece of cake tonight, you didn’t work out today then I can not love you. You failed the exam or couldn’t execute a job then I can not label myself with you. You and I are not great, but we do serve a great and good God. A God that does not change and says that He is faithful in completing the good work He has started. Those who struggle with this we need to get our eyes off ourselves and gaze solely on Christ. Let our standard be grace and love. Let us fail and keep getting back up knowing that Jesus does not change His mind on us. People will, but God is constant with a love that surpasses all understanding. An immense, incredible and indescribable love. To God be the glory and not our own perfection.