Something I am acutely aware of is my perfectionistic nature. I really want to do things well, but maybe even more than that, I want people to be happy with what I do or produce. I want to succeed in other people’s eyes.
Looking at the past two years of my life, the hardest times are when I try and do everything, to set a checklist of what a person with a healthy relationship with food would do, how a good Christian would pray, what a friend should do. I take things that should be filling and turn them into rules.
This enters into my Christian faith when I see commands and set my mind to accomplishing them. I see loving God with all my heart, soul, and mind as my utmost calling and that it is all on me to accomplish. But it’s not. I can’t do that. And that’s not to write off the necessity of loving God that way, it’s to daily point me to my need for Jesus. To show me that I am so weak, so broken, and looking for a my worth in my actions. I can stop trying to accomplish something that I never will and instead embrace grace and be thankful for the cross.
I can etch on my heart Romans 3: 21-24 which says, “But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, god did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”
When I think I can do it all or feel the need to be perfect, I take out Jesus. I minimize what he did and act as if I could do a better job myself. I forget God’s great mercy, compassion, and grace that has already been given and chain myself to a burden that I was not meant to bear and has already been carried.
Thanks Jesus for doing what I could never do myself. Thanks for freeing me from the expectations I put on myself.