Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ms. Perfection



Welcome to Yes to God Tuesdays. We are currently studying Lisa Whittle's book Behind Those Eyes. And boy is it one fabulous and challenging read. I hope you join us each week for this study. You are sure to be blessed.

**Remember direct quotes are in blue**


This week we met Ms. Perfection. Lisa tells the all too familiar story of the Christian family getting ready for church on Sunday morning- trying to look and act perfect. If you've been there and done that (even just this past Sunday) raise your hand. Okay I am sure there are a whole lot of hands up out there. Both mine are raised. We've probably all been guilty a time or ten.

May I ask you a question Lisa asked us ?


What do you feel makes us want people to see us as perfect?


In my humble opinion I believe it is the perception that Christians are supposed to be perfect. Because Christians have accepted Christ and the Holy Spirit now lives in them, they are supposed to be perfect. This belief is held by Christians and non-Christians alike. We're supposed to never have problems. We are supposed to never make a mistake or sin.


Ladies, let me just point you to Lisa's comment: It doesn't take us very long to see and know that in our flesh, perfection is not even remotely possible. The perception is a lie. A flat out lie. We are not perfect. We are not going to be perfect this side of heaven. What a shocker!


Now let's think this out. When we are trying to appear perfect or be perfect, where is our focus? Right. It is on ourselves. Our focus is on us trying to do something in our own strength and through our own power. We've taken our eye off God. We are inward focused and not upward focused. That is not behavior that is going to point anyone to God.


Another thing that came to me. If we are out there trying to pull off perfection, we are causing others to focus on us. They are comparing themselves to us. Some might get smug. Some might get depressed because they feel they fall short. Others might get resentful, wondering why we "have it all". I know. I've been all those people. And I've come to this conclusion. I never, ever want to be anybody's standard of excellence. I never, ever want anyone else to be my standard of excellence. I always want God to hold that position. He's the only one who can anyway.


One thing I can say about the speakers of Proverbs 31 Ministries is that they are forever pointing women right back to Jesus. At the She Speaks conference they told on themselves, shattering any thought that they were perfect. Why would anyone do that? I can't say with 100% certainty but let me give you my thoughts (and Lisa can correct me if I am wrong). By pointing out their own flaws and missteps, they become women we can really relate too. I don't know about you, but I don't have anything in common with Polly Perfection. In fact, she makes me sick (I'm just saying) But a Lisa Whittle, Renee Swope or Lysa TerKeurst? Them I can relate to. Real women telling their real stories.


Another thing is that by showing that they are not perfect, they point people straight to the one who can use us cracked pots. They lead us straight to the wheel of the Potter who can reshape and remold us into the beautiful creation that's been there all along. It gives us hope for ourselves ladies. I'd rather have that than fake perfection.


It's taken me a long time to get to this point. And I still struggle with it. I still struggle with this thing Lisa calls "trying to be the perfect Barbie (or in my case Kristie) for our Ken (in my case the brown one) in the hopes that he will love us more...or at the very least, that people will think he does". I need to not pin that on another imperfect human being. I need to let God love me more!


I also still struggle with the perfect mom syndrome because I have "been programmed to believe that behind every perfect child is a perfect mom." So I struggle with not being able to say like the other "perfect" bragging moms that my child has straight A's and never talks back. I'm getting over that. It's a struggle, but God is right there with me so it's okay.


I'll close with this: "Trying to be perfect is so exhausting, and there is never an end to it." So let's stop trying. Instead let's focus our energy on getting to know the One who actually can move us toward perfection. Notice I said toward. Once you're perfect you don't require so much of God now do you? At least in our flesh I believe that is how we would feel. I'm better with Him. How about you?



Be blessed ladies - not perfect!

And be sure to stop by Lelia's for more insight!

6 comments:

rusty'swife said...

Mari,

I love the name Polly Perfection. I have met her several times, and tried on her clothes. I am begining to discover that they just don't fit. Hopefully during this study she and her friends will pack there bags and go. I could use the extra room in my closet.
Good post.

Sallye

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

"Instead let's focus our energy on getting to know the One who actually can move us toward perfection. Notice I said toward".
Amen sister! It's time to remove Ms. Perfection from our life and just be what Godmade us to be!!
Love you girl!!
In His Graces~Pamela

Amy said...

Like you, Mari, I have been on both sides of that "perfection" trap...and neither of them are good places to be.
And what Lysa said is so true; it is exhausting always trying to be something we will NEVER be!
This was a great post!
Thanks for sharing your heart.
God Bless,
Amy:)

P.S. And you can tell by my post today....that I am not a "Perfect Proverbs 31 Woman/Mother." I'm just saying.;)

Runner Mom said...

This post was truly wonderful! I absolutley loved this part: "They lead us straight to the wheel of the Potter who can reshape and remold us into the beautiful creation that's been there all along. It gives us hope for ourselves ladies. I'd rather have that than fake perfection."

That was beautiful, Mari! You've nailed it. I too thought about She Speaks and how the girls truly showed us that they were real.

Love you!
Susan

Carol said...

Mari,

I've enjoyed reading your posts on the study, and your insights. I'm still working on that perfect mom thing too. So I'll say it with you my child does not get straight A's, and I'm cool with that.

I want Polly Perfection to go back in her box.

Thanks for your insights.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Polly Perfection is positively draining isn't she?
I like your last statement:
BE BLESSED- NOT PERFECT.

Have a great weekend!
Lea