4 Lies All Perfectionists Believe and the Truth That Dispels Them
Are you living a perfectionist lifestyle? Do you strive daily to tie up all the loose ends, cross off the To Do List, and keep everyone happy? If so, then you need to dispel 4 lies the enemy is using to keep you from freedom in Christ.
Lie #1: "I must be good." This statement implies that you must somehow earn the favor of God, that you must keep the rules, work harder, strive to accomplish more, keep up your guard, and mask your mistakes. When in reality, God never intended that you should earn His love. While you were still in a messy, sinful state, Jesus died for you. )Romans 5:8) His death has already covered your inability to be good enough. You can't behave so well that you can earn God's love, and you can't act in such horrible ways that you will lose His love. God planned from the beginning of time that Christ would come to this world to save us from our sinful state because He understands human fallibility. You don't have to be good enough because Christ is enough.
Lie #2: "I must not make a mistake." Perfectionists fear failure. However, the Bible is full of accounts of those who broke the rules, messed up, and made mistakes. Moses was a murder. David was an adulterer, liar, and murderer. Rahab was a prostitute. Paul abused the very people who devoted their lives to following God. The Israelites were disobedient. And Sarah, well she was impatient and abusive to her servant girl. Yet each of these men and women is recorded in the Word of God as righteous and bear a testimony to the glory of God. Why? Because they repented of their sin and turned to God to receive his loving kindness, forgiveness, and mercy.. You see the story isn't about what you do but rather about what God is trying to do in and through you.
Scripture tells us that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Every human has sinned against God, but If you confess your sin to God, meaning that you agree that what you are doing goes against the law of God, then He will be faithful to forgive you (1 John 1:9) He will not condemn, mock, or be made at you for what you've done. God longs to have you come to him so he can heal your hurts and lead you into a bright future.
Lie #3: "I am a failure." Perfectionists tend to believe that they are defined by their sin. Your sins and shortcomings do not define you. God defines you. He he calls you his child, the apple of his eye, and his forever love (1 John 3:1, Psalm 17:8, Jeremiah 31:3).
Lie #4: "I have to keep my life and all its circumstances in order." Perfectionists thrive on order and visible peace. They believe that they must manipulate and control situations. The messier the situation the more madly they work to fix it. But the truth is, God wants you to relax and trust that He is working to make right the situation. He wants you to focus on who He is and what He can do instead of looking for ways to end the chaos. He wants you to relinquish control so that he can do what only God can do! Philippians 2:13 tells us "for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose". You don't have to know the plan and keep things, in order. Your job is to get to know the One who already does!
As a recovering perfectionist, I want you to know the freedom of living "in Christ" and not "for" Christ. I spent many years believing these very same lies of the enemy. I believed that I had to perform my way into heaven. But when my marriage, health, and family were falling apart, Jesus loved me. When I made choices that were against God's law, Jesus loved me. And when I felt burdened under the sin and shame, Jesus crawled right under that pile of muck and loved me. Friend, stop trying to be perfect and start living in God's already perfect love (1 John 4:18).