Where do you think pressure to be perfect comes from and what can we do about it?
Holley Gerth poses this question and encourages each of us to be an encourager. She has written a new book You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart From Needing To Be Perfect.
As I ponder the above question I think the pressure to be perfect comes from within. The need to be perfect is ingrained in us from childhood. But then this need begins to drive our choices, our wants, our dreams. Perfectionism invades common sense, striving takes over, happiness is based on whether you make that grade, you lost that twenty-five pounds, you received that promotions, you were asked out by that particular boy, or you look in the mirror and the reflection is one you love. Are you a Type A? When perfection becomes neurotic and you are not able to function or you think horrible thoughts that are causing you harm like anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating, cheating on a test, insomnia, cutting, then it is imperative to find the lie that you are believing and you can bet that Satan is involved. If your thoughts are irrational, negative or you feel trapped, the solutions is to recognize the lie you are believing, and take that thought captive to the Lord.
Beloved, you have to get rid of STINKIN THINKIN!!!!!!!
I know a lot about stinkin thinkin. I have called myself so many horrible names. As a child, I was teased because of my blind left eye. Being called a cross-eyed baboon enforced many insecurities. As a teenager, I never felt pretty so I only dated two boys in high school and I married right out of high school. Then I became ill with migraine headaches and life as a mom, and wife became very difficult. I lost a job and that added to my insecurities. I returned to school as an adult and I started succeeding with my grades, perfectionism began to be my best friend. I graduated with my Medical Assisting Certificate and began dreaming of becoming a nurse. That dream became a reality. I have my Master’s Degree because of perseverance and of course that need to succeed. I struggle with my body image, I have lost and gained probably a five hundred pounds give or take one or two. Food was my idol. I made a rock solid decision in July of 2012 when after six months of classes I had a gastric sleeve that I would not eat past full and I would eat to live but not live to eat. I have maintained my weight loss of 103 pounds for three years because I believe the truth about who I am in Christ. Today, I am successful, not perfect. I am loved by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I am God’s child, Christ’s friend. I am his beloved, are you?
So what does one do about the pressure to be perfect? We have to break free from the rope that is keeping us captive to perfectionism.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
When we are tempted to give into perfectionism, we need to claim victory over temptation. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Once you halt the thought at the threshold, then you test the thought, action, or deed on the basis of the Apostle Paul’s eight-fold criterion for what we should think about:
Neil Anderson in The Bondage Breaker writes about the way of escape from perfectionism, overeating, seeking your worth from some other source other than God. “Ask yourself, does this thought line up with God’s truth? Is it suggesting that I do something honorable? If this thought becomes action, will the outcome be lovely and give to the excellence in my life? Will other believers approve of my actions? Is it something for which I can praise God? If the answer to any of those questions is no, dismiss that thought by choosing the truth. If it keeps coming back, keep saying no. Beloved if the thought, passes Philippians 4:8 test of truth, these thoughts are much better than the pain and turmoil that follows when we yield to tempting thoughts and or become involved in sinful behavior.”
Beloved, God does not want perfection, He wants us in a relationship with Him. Got Perfection? Yes! beloved we have God’s perfection because we trust in Him.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3)
This post was written in response to this link below that is from Holley Gerth’s encouragement.