For as long as I can remember I have been plagued with self doubt, fear and procrastination. Until this year though, I never realized that perfectionism was the driving force behind all of my discouragement.
Really, nothing about me is perfect – I lose things, forget things, and in general just mess up a whole lot of things. The problem is though, that I like things to be perfect. Actually, I LOVE for things to be perfect – especially myself.
And, if I can’t do something well, I tend to just give up. For example…
- I don’t blog because I built my blog myself and don’t like how I designed it and I can’t fix it.
- I don’t write because I can’t get the words just right.
- I don’t spend time with my kids because I feel stressed about the other areas of my life.
- I don’t apply for writing positions because I don’t think I’m good enough.
- I don’t exercise because I can’t keep a consistent schedule of it.
The list goes on and on. My obsession with self perfection keeps me from doing the things that I want to do and the things that I need to do.
So where’s the hope?
“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 12:10
In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul talks about God’s power being made perfect in weakness. Paul had some kind of weakness (he called it a thorn in his flesh – no one is certain whether it was a physical aliment or something different) that made him feel weak. He asked God to remove it from him 3 times but he said that “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Our weaknesses can bring great glory to God if we turn them over to Him and ask Him to work through us and make us strong. I know that if I am ever a good financial manager, wife, mother or writer it is only because God is working in me, through all my weaknesses. God can make you strong even in areas where you feel weak or afraid – read about Gideon or Moses in the Bible (I’ll post more on this another day).
Don’t allow Satan to leave you trapped in a pit of discouragement or procrastination – fight it with all that you have in you. You are worth it. You have value just because you are alive.
The truth is that no one will ever be perfect (even all those people who seem to have it all together aren’t really perfect). I encourage you to turn your heart to God and ask him to make his power perfect in your areas of weakness. If you are anything like me, it will be a prayer that you’ll need to pray dozens of times a day.