Perfectionism is the lie that we can earn God’s favor. Or that we need to!

The truth of God’s word is that God already loves us to the moon and back (my paraphrase of Ps.103:11) and accepts us as is (Rom 15:7).

There are many strategies to overcome the compulsion to be perfect that we’ve addressed in previous blogs, but let’s review them before I give you the best bad news and ultimate solution for overcoming perfectionism.

1.

In a blog titled, How Do You Measure Up To Perfection, I suggested that you STOP measuring yourself against what you see in other people. Stop COMPARING yourself to what you think you see in others.  

Replace the lie that you don’t measure up with the truth of God’s word.
He loves you so much, he sacrificed his son, Jesus, to pay for your sins so you could establish an unhindered relationship with him.

No conditions
No catches.
No exclusions.
No performance required.

God loves you with an everlasting love. Jer. 31:3

2.

Next, You Don’t Have To Live In Isolation!

Replace the lie that you are insignificant to God (and therefore unworthy of good relationships) with the truth that He made you, blessed you and calls you his own. Gen. 1:26-28.

He says you are all that and a bag of chips plus a brownie (my translation of Ps. 139:14) He declares you a masterpiece Eph. 2:10 and promises to equip you to do the work he has called you to do. Heb. 13:21

With that in mind, consider all you have to offer in relationships with others.

3.

Third, Does Striving For Perfection Drive You Bananas? Recognize that striving for perfection wastes your time. 

Replace the lie that your work needs to be perfect with the truth of God’s word that says you only need to do your best.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

4.

Remember Perfection is an Evil Taskmaster! Needing to be perfect keeps you from experiencing new things and new people. 

Replace the lie that you can’t try anything new because you’ll look foolish or fail with the truth that God is powerful enough to rescue you or redeem you or teach you.

 “Do not be afraid—I will save you.
I have called you by name—you are mine.
When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you;
your troubles will not overwhelm you.
When you pass through fire, you will not be burned;
the hard trials that come will not hurt you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the holy God of Israel, who saves you. Isaiah 43:1-3a

5.

The fifth way to overcome the tyranny of perfectionism is to come to terms with the fact that you are never finished.

To a perfectionist this is lousy news. Perfectionists need a destination, an accomplishment, a finish line, completion!

Unfortunately, we get one area of life wrangled into submission, only to find another aspect wriggling out of control. It’s true of parenting, professional development, health, marriage and spiritual journeys.

It wasn’t too long ago that I found myself completely overwhelmed by all the new things I had to learn and all the content I had to create to move my speaking hobby into a full time sustainable ministry.

The mounting frustration got so bad I finally sought professional help. My counselor gave two words that changed my life.

Divine Journey.

He showed me how to look at life as a divine journey rather than a destination, one that is never completely finished, but that has some lovely oasis’ along the way to enjoy. Completion of any piece of a project or line item on my list is an oasis that I can stop at, take satisfaction in, and find refreshment before I continue on my divine journey.

Overcome the lie that you can finish your ( fill in the blank ) perfectly with the truth that you’re on a divine journey of learning, doing, resting and trusting. God will lead, guide, and direct you perfectly on your way.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever AMEN!

I’d love to hear how you overcome the tyranny of perfection. Leave me a comment below to tell me how you let yourself be perfectly imperfect?

Prayer: Lord God Almighty. Thank you for creating me in your image and declaring me good! Very good. Good enough. Help me to see myself the way you see me. Release me from the   In Jesus Name, Amen.

12 Comments

  1. Joan B on May 19, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    It’s like you were talking directly to me. I embarrassed myself and my husband in my attempt to be perfect this past weekend at our place of work. All weekend I have relived it and struggled. Always ending up saying but you are almost 70, it’s too late to let go of what you learned throughout childhood. Thank you for this reminder!

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 20, 2019 at 9:34 pm

      Hey Joan,
      Ugh, Girl!!!! When I do that thing, and I do!!!!! I try to make amends – say I’m sorry, ask for forgiveness, beg God not to let me ever do that again.

      Ultimately, I have to quit reliving it and move on and quit letting it beat me up over and over. Sorry that happened… again.

      You are loved.

  2. Kathy Hardee on May 20, 2019 at 12:33 am

    Great post, Robyn. I love the two words, and all your others too. Thanks for sharing this with me.

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 20, 2019 at 9:31 pm

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Kathy. It’s high praise from a fellow writer. 🙂

  3. Linda F Goble on May 20, 2019 at 4:00 am

    So, what are the two words your counselor gave you to help overcome need for perfection?

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 20, 2019 at 7:22 pm

      Linda,
      The 2 words are Divine Journey.
      You can read the rest of the story here: https://robyndykstra.com/divine-journey/

      You have to click on the title of the blog or the read more to see the whole post.

  4. Marie Howard on May 20, 2019 at 10:32 am

    God told me that I am loved as I am. That He does not require perfection but to do the best I can with what He has given me to accomplish His plans for me. He is in control and I am not. Rest in Him to care for the things that I cannot. Be confident that He will care for the things I cannot. He has a plan I cannot see but that He will see through to the end. Just do my part in the grand scheme of things and trust God.

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 20, 2019 at 7:20 pm

      Marie,
      Sounds like you are in a good spot. Love what you wrote.

  5. Susan Clark on May 20, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    I have or will I think I am perfect I only know one who is that is our Lord. I have always tired to do my best in what I do. I have never had the best of the best that doen’t matter either.So long as I have a way to get back and forth to work my truck is pretty rusted out but gets me where I need to go.And it is paid for .I work hard so I can pay my bills and I don’t ask for alot.Just would like not to have to work til I die so I could enjoy some things I like to do. I was married for 31 years got divorced in Nov moved out last July my husband was verbally abusive he came home drunk one night told me he hated me, God told me I had put up with enough it was time for me to go. Never on my own before but I bought me a house and I haven’t been affraid at all. God has control of my life now. So I have a story too not as bad as yours. But I did go through alot all those years. So I really don’t think I try to be perfect I just try to do my best

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 20, 2019 at 7:19 pm

      Hi Susan,
      You are spot on. Let God lead. Do what he says. Work hard. Watch God fill in the gaps. Do your best.
      thank you for writing!

  6. Margo on May 22, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Appreciate your 2 words “Divine Journey”. My prayers have been bolder, using the power and authority that the Holy Spirit gives us only in Jesus’s name! It is a journey, and I am learning all the time. Also appreciate your comment to be persistent in prayer.
    Loved seeing your Mother’s Day video at Northwoods Church. Cal Rychner, during an Israel trip with him, introduced me to many new concepts, even though have taught the Word for many years. Powerful Divine Journey!

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 22, 2019 at 3:52 pm

      Hi Margo,
      That trip sounds life changing. So glad you got to go and thank you for writing!

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