Perfectionism Defeated (A late Easter blog)

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Author's Note: Hey, friends! Thanks for stopping by to read a bit of my heart today. I want to quickly mention that this post was intended to go out over Easter weekend, but because of certain events, I was unable to do so! So, please forgive me for that. I hope this blog brings clarity on what it means to be forgiven by God and walk in His grace on a DAILY BASIS for the perfectionist out there who is wondering, "How do I do that?" This blog is also for the one who needs to understand that God's grace, love, and forgiveness covers not only your salvation, but also all those little decisions and sins you do in a day that you know go against how God wants you to live (and make you feel less than, not good enough, loved...etc.). Please know, you are forgiven for whatever you are beating yourself up over. Why? Keep reading to find out! Much love, friends! 
- Alyssa Rasor

I am a perfectionist, and recently I have been struggling. I have been struggling with the fact that I am forgiven, the concept of grace, and realizing I am not a failure, but rather loved by God and clothed in His righteousness.

As a perfectionist, when I think of God, I often think of Him pounding a gavel at me, as if He is always angry at me. Sometimes I even feel as if He is hovering above me and looking at me with disappointment because I didn’t live up to “His standards” (which are really my own).

Is this you? Are you a perfectionist? Do you also struggle with thinking God is pounding a gavel at you, shaking His head in disappointment or sadness, or can not stand the sight of you because of all the wrong things you have done? Do you struggle with constantly thinking / feeling like you are a failure because of how much you mess up in a day?

I know I do.

Friends, I wish I could sit here writing today and tell you I have it all figured out, but I cannot and do not. I still do not understand how such a good and perfect God could ever love someone like me and want to use me. But, friends, I can tell you this and all that I have slowly but surely been learning over the past week: Our salvation is not about us. Our salvation is about Jesus, His perfection, and God’s great love for us. It is about Jesus and what He accomplished; it is not about us (Romans 1:16-17)!

Our salvation is not about us being perfect. Our salvation is about Jesus taking our punishment for us, so that we no longer have to feel the feelings of condemnation and guilt over what we have done (in the past or present).

I know we, as perfectionists, can often take our own perfection a bit too far with God. We want to be the hero of everyone’s day including our own. We want to be the best and we want to be treated as the best because we feel all our hard work must deserve something…right!? Friends, this is not how God designed salvation. God designed salvation as a rescue plan. A rescue plan so that you would no longer have to strive for something that does not exist.

You CAN accept forgiveness and grace NOT because your actions are excusable, but because God has ALREADY poured out His wrath and punished you. Only He didn’t do it to you personally, He did it to Jesus. God poured out His wrath on Jesus because He loved you too much to ever let you reap the eternal consequences of your actions (you may have to suffer “in the moment consequences,” but you will never have to bear eternal punishment for your actions). He wanted you to have life and have it to the full (John 10:7-10).

Your salvation is not about you and what you can do. Your salvation is about Jesus’ perfection and no other. You can stop beating yourself up over the things you have done in your past or the things you did today or yesterday. You can stop feeling condemnation for your actions and can stop feeling guilty and remorseful over what you have done (Romans 8).

If we are in Christ, we no longer have a God who has a gavel in His hand or is tallying up every time we sin. Instead, because of what Jesus has done on the cross and through His resurrection, when we mess up and sin, all God sees is Jesus’ perfection and holiness. Because we are a new creation in Christ, God *”credits Jesus’ own righteousness to our account” and calls His holiness our own. Your salvation is not about you, but about Christ.

Trust Him with your life, trust Him with your salvation, and trust that His perfection and goodness is better than yours will ever be (James 4:4-10).

Let me also remind you, spiritual success does not look like reading your Bible every day, or “being so good and perfect” that you are above everyone else. Spiritual success does not mean beating yourself up over and over again and feeling complete agony and remorse every time you sin or mess up because somehow that makes you more humble, so therefore you deserve more than everyone else.

Spiritual success is keeping your eyes on the cross and remembering you are saved by grace; you are enough because Christ was enough. You are found a friend of God because of Jesus’ perfection and holiness, not your own (Matthew 9:12-13).

Stop striving and stop chasing after something that does not exist. The day will come when your desire and craving for perfection will be used for the Kingdom of God. Do not let Satan tempt you or make you believe your salvation is the place to satisfy that desire, because it’s not. The perfection that you crave is something rare and beautiful and can be a tool that (1) will point others toward Christ and (2) can and will be used to not only point others toward Heaven, but yourself as well. It will be and is a tool to help others realize they too have a desire for perfection and something more, and that desire for something more can only be filled by Jesus (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Perhaps this Easter can be the first time you decide to give up feeling condemned, guilty, worthless, not good enough, like a failure…etc. because perhaps this Easter you can give up your right to be God and accept what the true God has already proclaimed over you: You are His child; you are redeemed; you are loved; you are only seen as enough because of His Son, Jesus’ sacrifice. You can surrender because there is no fear in perfect love (1 John 4:16-17).

So, instead of trying to be your own perfection for Heaven, “raise the white flag”, and worship the God who is perfect and was perfect for you on earth all those years ago. His perfection is yours, friend, so stop chasing your own. You already have obtained perfection through Jesus; His holiness and righteousness is your own. Justice has been served. You are His child, so lay down and rest (Romans 5).

Alyssa Rasor

*thought from a reel on Facebook

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