Guiding Scripture: (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Breaking the Curse of Perfectionism
Contributing Writer: Lisa C. Gant
Hello, my name is Lisa, and I am a recovering perfectionist.
I have a vivid memory of being the last child in my kindergarten class to finish a drawing. I kept coloring long after everyone else had finished, to the point where my teacher had to tell me to stop so we could move on to another activity, and when she did, I promptly burst into tears. Why? Because my drawing wasn’t right. It wasn’t perfect.
It was all downhill from there.
I became the girl who always got straight A’s in school, participated in multiple extracurricular activities, and wasn’t satisfied unless I came home from every competition with a trophy. It wasn’t enough for me to do well at something; I had to be the best. I had to be perfect. Then I would finally feel like I was good enough like I was worthy. It was a pattern of thinking that followed me throughout my childhood and well into adulthood.
Does this story sound familiar to you? I’ll bet it does.
The problem with perfectionism is that it contradicts the Word of God. Based on the faulty premise, we can earn God’s approval if we just work hard enough. If we just do everything right, surely God will see that we’re “good enough” and let us into heaven. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Bible is very clear about how we fall short when compared to God’s standard of holiness: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23, NLT). And no matter what we do or how hard we try, we can’t bridge that gap alone. In fact, Isaiah 64:6 says, “When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.”
So, what are we to do?
Fortunately, God has already done the work of redeeming us through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus. As 1 Peter 3:18 tells us, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (NIV)
In other words, we don’t have to prove ourselves to our Heavenly Father. He doesn’t care about our accomplishments or our accolades. We don’t have to earn His love or acceptance; we already have it. We’ve had it from the moment that Jesus exchanged our unrighteousness for His righteousness when He died and rose from the dead three days later.
I spent many years chasing perfection, even as a Christian, because I didn’t understand that God had given me something better. He had made me righteous. It wasn’t until I understood and embraced that truth that I finally became free from the curse of perfectionism.
I challenge you to let Him do the same for you today. You won’t regret it.
This devotional was submitted by Lisa C. Gant, a loving contributor to Our Given Purpose. Edited by Torrie Slaughter the founder of Our Given Purpose® in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Thursday, September 1, 2022
Is the CEO and founder of Gant Editorial Services and the founder of Purpose Without Apology, a podcast that teaches women of faith how to boldly live out their God-given purpose. She is also a wife to my incredible husband of sixteen years, and a mom of two brilliant, wonderful children. Tune in for uplifting Bible teaching podcasts and connect with Lisa on Instagram. Visit www.lisacgant.com for more information and how you can work with Lisa.