I have been participating in a Bible Study for a few weeks now that has been challenging, inspiring, and eye opening. (Really good!!!) It is called Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer and it is some life changing stuff. She explains how the enemy crafts schemes against you and knows your weaknesses so well. Well, I had my eyes opened to a lie I believed so long that I don’t remember when It became a part of my character. But it was a long time ago. And it might sound familiar to you, too.
Let me share with you something that I have struggled with ever since ever. I could be such a perfectionist that it would literally halt me from doing something if I couldn’t do it perfectly. Sounds crazy. But true. I wouldn’t even start. I could over analyze and talk myself out of anything if I didn’t think I could do it up to what I thought my standard of “perfection” was. So many things fed this but they all had one thing in common… Fear. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what ifs. Fear of faith itself. I thought I was a “black or white” person with no room for gray in my life. What I really lacked was grace. For myself and for others.
How ineffective could I be if I wouldn’t even start? It was a slow death by my own hand guided by the enemy of my soul. But not anymore. I may not be able to do all of the steps perfectly, but I can take one step. It’s an addiction and it is not one that is easily broken. But we have to break it or it will break us. So we make a choice. Let’s choose our freedom. Freedom to make a mistake and not halt our process or make us give up. The enemy is our accuser. He accuses us and gets in our mind and messes with our emotions and our perspectives. He loves to twist situations and have us sit and worry about them. He wants our hearts and our peace.
Good news though. They are ours to give. Or preferably, keep!
One of my very favorite Bible stories from my childhood and now is about Queen Esther. When I was young, she was a queen and wore purple in my animated series, so she was cool. Now, what a heroine of faith. She had to have been scared beyond anything what I would know in my experience as persecution and saved her people because of her faith. That’s incredible. She trusted God and stepped out in her faith risking it all, symbolizing our Savior to come and saving His people. Queen Esther’s perspective was to choose to align her life with God’s will, without knowing the end result and accepting it first.
That is great and all, but how about a story I can relate to? Because last time I checked… Not a queen. (Unless I get to play one in my 4 year old’s plays and those parts are scare these days!) I love Jesus’s best friends, Mary and Martha. I love these girls because I am both of them at times. But mostly Martha. Martha was accomplished. She was the first Martha Stewart I think. (No stock trading fiasco though) Perfect food, hostess, her curtains probably matched the rugs and everything! You know she was talented. And she worked at it and you know it was beautiful. But it also made her frustrated, impatient, anxious and…well, she ended up tattling on her sister to Jesus.
Because she probably took on more than she could chew? To look amazing? Because she felt she had to be the perfect hostess? Everything has to be perfect right? (I mean, her guest of honor was Jesus.. But still.)
Mary was different. Mary was deep. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and soaked up every word He taught. Then, their brother Lazarus died. Martha went out to meet Jesus but He called for Mary. She waited for Jesus to come. Her tears moved Him and he resurrected Lazarus. She later cracked open a bottle of perfume and anointed Him with it because of her gratitude. Because Mary understood.
41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are getting worried and upset about too many things. 42 Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the right thing, and it will never be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:41-42 ICB
Mary got it.
It’s not about insert whatever holds you back here because of insert fear here. It’s about doing it anyway, because we have faith that God will equip us to do it and His standards are perfect.
Which is also the beginning of the word perfection! Who knew? 😄❤️