As women, we have the task of overseeing our households, cleaning and organization of the home, preparation of the meals, washing and drying the clothes, making sure our bodies are healthy, perhaps a day-to-day job to make ends meet, etc., etc. If we are married and have children, there is even more added on, spending time with your husband, taking care of the children, playtime, activities for school, teaching them God’s ways and guiding them into God’s family, etc., etc.
Do we expect to do all of this perfectly? Many of us think, if these duties are not done on time, in order, and without fail, that we have “lost control.” What happens as a consequence of this feeling? For many of us it is a horrid self-inflicted whip across our backs. The flogging comes because of our thoughts of unworthiness as a woman, wife, mother, and even a Christian! If you don’t feel this way, you are invited to write a guest blog, giving us your insight. 😉
Are we really in control? Like it or not, life goes on without us controlling every aspect of it. When we go to sleep at night, we don’t have to set the timer on our heartbeat or respirations. We don’t have the ability to watch our immune system, so it doesn’t fall asleep on guard and forget to protect us. We cannot make the sun rise or set. It is hard to come to grips with this realty isn’t it? What’s wrong with us?!!!
An obsession with perfection can lead to anxiety, depression, bitterness, and sometimes rage if we leave it unchecked. But you might say, “We’re talking about control here, not perfectionism.” Perfectionism and control are very much related.
Perfectionism is the drive to control all the variables and all the circumstances so that the outcome will be “perfect.” All I want is perfect harmony, perfect quality, perfect aesthetics, perfect peace, perfect truth, perfect agreement, perfect joy, perfect progress and perfect success.
But you might ask, “Doesn’t God want us to do the very best, be the very best, and have excellence in all we do? Isn’t that what will please God?” There is a difference, however, in trying to please God and trying to be God. God is the only perfect one.
We are not satisfied by giving our best, we want to do God’s part. Instead of trusting Him with our petitions in prayer, we try to do it all ourselves perfectly. This can, at times, leave us feeling inadequate and unacceptable.
Perfectionism, according to our standards, is not what our God requires of us. He doesn’t hold a whip over us each day, as we do, driving ourselves to impossible ends. He is more concerned with building His nature, His attributes and His love within. Our everyday lives, no matter what we are doing, can be brought into focus by this awesome truth.
“God is less interested in my perfect completion of some project than He is in His perfect completion of ME. What I suppose are perfect successes are often failures because they inflate my pride, or they take inordinate amounts of time that should have been spent elsewhere, or they are accomplished through ungodly attitudes or actions. What looks like failure, on the other hand, may be God’s success if it contributes to my humility, patience, and growth in grace.”
Yes, godliness is what He is concerned about. We need to focus on Godly attributes, such as faithfulness, patience, diligence, longsuffering, meekness. Can we really do this during the day? Yes, we can! Look for opportunities for growth throughout your day.
Whenever you think that your plans are not working as you’d like and begin to feel out of control, bring these words into your mind and ask God to make them part of your innermost being:
(Romans 8:28–29) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…
How can all things work for good? It works because, whatever we do accomplish, our focus is not on what we do ourselves, but on what God is doing through us and what He is building in us. Remember, perfectionism is a lie. Godliness is the truth.
Let’s take time and meditate on these verses:
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.
Let’s not let control be our goal in life. Let’s focus on the things that God considers important throughout our day. As we practice this principle in our lives, control issues will begin to fall by the wayside, and we will begin to have joy in those things that gives us true peace.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”