March 29, 2011

Perfect People

There's no such thing as perfect people. Realizing this does three things for me:

1. It lets me off the hook.
One of the goals of this blog is to keep it real. From the very beginning I have tried to do this. Keeping it real means being willing to admit that I am not perfect. Realizing at a heart level that no one is perfect makes it easier to be transparent. We tend to look at other people and think "They have it all together." No one has it all together. No matter how skinny they are, how big their house is or how big their smile is. We are all struggling with different vices and issues. Not everyone struggles with overeating the way I do, but I know that they are struggling with something. We are all in this together. I don't have to worry about someone else judging me for my shortcomings. They may do that, judge me, but they are only doing that to avoid dealing with their own issues. I should have compassion for that person, not let them dictate my self-worth. Truth be told, other people don't think about me near as much as I assume they do. No one sits around and ponders my failure--only I do that. And why? Why focus on failure? Perfection is not something to be attained. If we are striving for perfection we are going to fail 100% of the time. I'm not saying we shouldn't do our best. I'm just saying perfection isn't an option so we should just take it off the table. When we continually strive for perfection and continually fail we become discouraged and tend to quit. What happens when we take perfection off the table? We fail less and we don't have to quit.

2. It let's other people off the hook
How often have I tried to hold another person to a standard of perfection? That is so unfair. We have to let other people off the hook also. We will destroy every relationship that means anything to us if we expect the other person to be perfect. We will be bitter people if we are waiting for those in our lives to live up to all our expectations. It's a convenient thing to do because we can always play the blame game. We will always have an endless supply of reasons to blame someone else but what good does that do us? Why focus on other people's failure? It will always be there. It's not like people are all of a sudden going to be exactly who we want them to be if we just think about it hard enough. What a big old waste of time. We have to set everyone in our lives free and in doing so, we will find freedom as well.

3. It points to Jesus
I think we can all agree that when we expect others (parents, spouse, friends, children, pastors, bosses, the list goes on...) in our lives to be perfect it just leads to disappointment. And when we depend on ourselves to be perfect it leads to self-absorption, insanity and ultimately defeat. The good news is that we don't have to depend on ourselves to be perfect. Nor do we have to depend on others to be perfect for us. Christ is that for us. By truly accepting this and believing it with all that I am, I have found so much freedom. Freedom to love others and expect nothing in return. Freedom to love myself even in my failure--God does, why shouldn't I?

I know this is an issue for many overweight people. The bondage of perfectionism is holding us back and weighing us down. We are waiting on everything to be just right--the circumstances, our attitude, our pantry, the weather, our relationships... We are waiting on everything to align and then--THEN--we will do this (on Monday, right?). It doesn't work like that. And we know it. Even if you can get all of those things to align just right, they won't stay that way for long. We are going to fall off the wagon. We are going to go a week...a month without exercising. We ARE going to mess up. We are. Okay? Everyone knows that and everyone else is messing up, too. That is what we do. But that is not WHO we are. We are more than that.

I can't put the whole Chapter 8 of Romans in this post, but if you are struggling with what I am talking about please GO READ THIS right now.

And always remember:

There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but are justified freely, by his grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3: 23-24

I love all you messed-up people! ;)


Kimberlynn said...

As a former perfectionist, I am so grateful that God is healing me in this area. There is such freedom and when we see that we really are in this together.

Thanks for this today. You are such an amazing woman. I am always encouraged by you and the fact that you're keeping it real.

Be blessed!


Gina said...

God is amazing for all of the grace he gives us! It's so hard to accept it at times & to provide it in the same way to others. Thanks for bringing a bit more faith to each of my days when I read your posts:-)

Can do mom said...

Another homerun Keelie! Perfectionism is an issue with me so I loved this post! Thank you.

Lisa said...

I once hears "Nobody is perfect. I am nobody. Therfore I am perfect"
I just love that bit of logic... and what I love even more is that despite all my imperfections I am perfect to God. He accepts me for me... yes he desires that I be better and he shows me how to be better, but he will never stop loving me. It is impossible to be perfect here on this earth. You will always have your weaknesses, your thoughts, your human desires, but you can strive to be better. To be stronger. To be happier. I think we all need to remember this! You will mess up, but that is why Your Savior sacrificed so that through him you can become better.

starr said...

Hi Keelie,
I think this is one of your best!
I am one of your silent followers and yes we all suffer from perfectionism........
Have a blessed day

good, no great song to go with post!

Jan said...

You always post something that I NEED to hear. I think I haven't been on my "A" game lately because I feel like my workouts and eating have to be PERFECT! *sigh* Duh...there's no such thing as perfect. Thanks for reminding me. :)

Always Save Room For Dessert! said...

Great post!

Stacey said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! You nailed it!

For too many years I strived for perfection. You know the thinking that goes "when I have____I'll be happy, or when I weigh _____, or when I do____." This was completely the opposite of freedom. It was total bondage!!

I never thought about how my striving for perfection, as if it were obtainable, was in essence calling God a liar. His word says, "We are ALL sinners and fall short." Why did I think that I was the one exception? Seriously, how ego-centric is that line of thinking!?

Shrinking Mommy of 2 said...

Just found your blog. You look awesome and we started at around the same weight! I look forward to "getting to know" you better.

By the way, I love this post and I needed the reminder! Thanks