The struggle against perfection begins the moment in childhood when you first recognize that other people expect you to achieve and to measure up. From your performance at school or at work to your performance at home as a parent and a spouse – almost everybody wants or needs something from you.
The pursuit of excellence can fill your life with a lot of great things. It can motivate you to work hard and to excel, for yourself and for others. But somewhere beyond excellence is perfection. We’ll never know where because it’s unattainable.
We still try, though.
At Focus on the Family, we hear from a lot of people who are exhausting themselves trying to do everything perfectly. They give everything they have to love their spouses, their children, and their fellow man, yet they never feel like they measure up. That’s a heavy load to carry on your shoulders every day.
God urges us to believe that we can’t be perfect, and that we don’t have to be because Jesus was perfect on our behalf. There’s nothing you and I need to do to be more worthy of God’s love and grace. You’re loved right where you are in this moment because He created you in His image.
But do we believe that? Most of us do – sort of. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel true. Our mistakes and sin sometimes feel like they’re too big for God to redeem.
Jennie Allen remembers when she came to a crossroads and had to decide: Am I going to believe that God loves me that deeply or not? She’s with us on our program “Releasing People-Pleasing, Accepting Jesus” on your local radio station, online, or on our free phone app.
She’ll tell us why she finds living for God so much more delightful than living for the world. Pleasing Him doesn’t come with the baggage that trying to please other people does. When she fails, God has what she needs in that moment to bring about restoration and repentance.
Jennie will connect with your head and your heart on the struggle over perfection. We’re talking about her book, Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard.
If you’re living under the burden of pleasing the world, and you don’t know what to do, contact us. Let us put this resource into your hands. I’d like to do that for a gift of any amount. Give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you.
Jennie Allen is the founder of the IF:Gathering, a ministry that empowers women to live out their calling.