We’ve gotta break these chains of perfectionism, so you can take your peace to live life to the fullest. So let’s go through it, because this is your homework–this is now your walkout. I am going to give you some things to begin to ponder in your journey. You will have to do some honest recognition in taking responsibility for your freedom. This enemy can and must be defeated in our lives.
Is Perfectionism a Generational Pattern?
Before I get to the first one, take a look at this in your family tree. Is it in your family? If Mommy and Daddy had a shred of perfectionism, you can be sure it will seek to come your way if it hasn’t already.
But there are also those of you reading this who did not grow up in a perfectionist environment, but you were not loved properly, so perfectionism came in as a mode of training, as a way for you to feel validated. Did you grow up with a self-image based on how good you were, or how well you did things? Your walkout begins today.
1. Broken Heart
When it comes to being healed, delivered and restored in these areas of our life we can never skip over this important matter of the heart. We must recognize our broken heart that has paved the way for the bondage of our life. You cannot bypass this, you cannot pass go and collect $200. We must begin to recognize that every human being on this planet, including ourselves, is at some level of brokenness and in need for greater healing.
To some degree we are broken. It saddens me to hear Christians tell me, “I’m not broken. Not everybody’s broken.” They think brokenness is only somebody under a bridge who’s in deep tragedy or despair. They think, “I’m not in that kind of situation,” so they distance themselves from the need to be mended by Father God. In coming to God for freedom, we must acknowledge the areas where love has not had its deepest work. Because of this, wherever love is absent in our lives, brokenness resides.
Perfectionism says you’re not loved and accepted for who you are, but if you can be perfect and do everything right, then people will love, accept and validate you. We have to recognize our broken heart is giving room for this achievement and earning mentality. And for true healing to happen, God’s going to have to heal your broken heart. I can’t move to the next one in your life until we truly, properly address this and allow for it to have its work. Want to achieve to be truly perfected? Learn to receive the perfecting love of God, which will cast out the fear that drives us into striving to do everything perfect.
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:17-19
Just when you think your heart is healed, another area is vulnerable to go, “there’s more.” Why? Because the love of God never ends. Just when you think you’ve arrived, there’s another depth of His love that you don’t understand, and brokenness resides there. I have no time for people who can’t recognize their weak, vulnerable or broken areas of their life that need God’s touch and healing.
If you want to live in denial and live a plastic life, then have a great life. I want to spend my life helping people that recognize their brokenness and their need for transformation. The Bible says “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” It doesn’t mean you’re a victim, it means that you need Someone greater than yourself to do a healing work in your heart, or you’re lost.
Let God begin to heal you and accept you with His love; for who you are as His child, not for what you do. The first step is to get grounded in God’s love for you just because you’re His kid. At the end of the day you’re Father God’s kid. If you’ve accepted Jesus Christ and the work of the Cross, you’re God’s kid.
Before you are a mom, dad, pastor, preacher, teacher, administrator, worker, business person, you’re a kid! That kicks the pressure off. I’m just a kid in Daddy’s playground, learning and growing each day.
1 John 4 is your place of meditation. It says, “Love has been perfected in this…” In that you strive to do things, that you’re finally holy, that you’ve finally read through the whole Bible, and that you’ve finally gotten through all your problems? No. It says, love is perfected in this, that you may actually “have boldness in the day of judgment, because as He is, so are we in the world.” What’s the Bible saying here? The Bible’s saying that love is truly perfected when you run up to God, in His holiness, bold in your approach; not because you are perfect, but because you know you are His child!
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.” Here is your discipleship journey all you perfectionists: “He who fears,” there’s your perfectionism right there in the fear; he who has that perfectionism fear “has not been made perfect in love.” The shift has to move from performance into loving relationship where you are accepted right where you are, right now.
If mankind will not accept you, that is their sin. That is their responsibility before God. Do not take that on as your own sin. Do not take that on as your own rejection. You are accepted in His eyes, and this precept is perfecting.
“He who fears has not been made perfect in love.” Let me declare something to you, we get perfected in love. You want to be perfect? Get perfected by being loved. Sounds so foreign to so many, but that’s the Kingdom. You get perfect by being loved on. When you are not loved, you feel you have to be perfect and perform to be loved. You reverse the mindset of God. You see the twisting? You see the reversal? God says – acceptance first, then you live. The enemy says, no no no, you live your whole life for that acceptance somewhere over the rainbow, and you never find it. We are called to live from acceptance, not for it.
3. Time to Address Our Insecurities
We begin to confess our insecurities and feelings of inadequacy to God. This is the discipleship journey that I will address over and over again. Is there a tendency in your life to cover up things with good deeds? Do you find yourself hiding in weakness? Do you feel like you have to cover up your flaws? Is the pressure making you angry with yourself and with others?
I say this as a declaration Turning Hearts, it’s time to put our insecurities on notice because the clock is ticking. It is time for those demonic spirits that accuse us and push us down, to be put on notice. Their day of reckoning is coming. They are slowly and methodically being moved out and God is setting us free to be His kids once and for all. But you have to remember, most all of your battles with the enemy regarding who you are and your relationships hover around this tractor beam of insecurity.
4. Die to the World’s Definition of Greatness
To put the bondage of perfectionism behind me, I have to also put behind me the world’s ways of perfectionism that drive people to look great and successful in man’s eyes. In order to do that, we must die to the world’s definition of what it means to be great.
It says in Luke 16:15, “You are those who justify yourself before men, but God knows your heart, because what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” He’s saying – what you value, I don’t value. That’s why Jesus said, if you want to find your life, lose it. One of the things that we do in our fears is we’re trying to self- preserve, and God says, if you want to save your life, just lose it. Just abandon all the things you have been trying to preserve.
Abandon Preserving My Image
“God I’m afraid of my reputation.” – abandon it. “I’m afraid of what people will think” – abandon it. “I’m afraid of failure” – abandon it. You will fall into the greatest level of freedom you have ever known in your life because God says you will actually save it and you will find it because He will insert into you what is truly of value. You now open yourself to His ways and His Kingdom.
God is saying to us, “What’s the point anyways? What does it profit you to gain all this stuff in the world and lose your soul? We sometimes apply that most of the time to an eternity in hell. We say what’s it profit to have riches but to go to hell? I actually want to go a little deeper, because in the soul is the formation and culmination of who you are and who you have become–your identity. Soul contains the imprint of how we think and who we think we are. So to look at this verse another way, what would it profit you to gain the world and lose who you are? What would it profit to strive in perfectionism, but lose your identity? Who God says that you are? What God says is important?
Too many are striving in perfectionism to build a kingdom that God is not in. We can place labels on it, spiritualize it and even preach about what God is doing. But at the end of the day, we are often striving to create a kingdom that is about us and what we can show in the world’s view of success–mostly involving numbers, popularity, money and superiority.
5. Release the Yoke of Burden
Perfectionism has to leave when we release the burden of life from our shoulders. This is a daily, hourly, minute by minute discipleship journey of learning to walk in rest. To walk in this rest, you are going to have to learn the training of what it means to continually release. The blessing of the Christian walk is that, even though you may have many battles and areas of struggle that you will go through, you do not have to carry the weight of the pressure on your shoulders.
That’s why Jesus said, “All of you, you’re laboring, you’ve got this weight on your shoulders.” And all of us to a degree have that weight. Some of it’s manifesting physically in the stress on our shoulders and the tension all the way down our backs. For others it is weighing on the mind and heart, keeping us pressed down and far from rest. He says, Take my yoke upon you.
Jesus is saying, “link up with me,” as cattle would link up. Now as you’re going, you’re linked up with Christ. He’s now the lead ox, carrying the brunt of this and you are learning from Him. It is still work? Yes. Does it still require effort and persistence? Yes. The difference is there is rest in the midst of the effort. You are releasing yourself to be yoked to the One who will take the weight.
Just as when there were two oxen that were moving along in a yoke, one of them was the lead, one of them was the one that was learning. We are the ones learning and Christ is the One leading. When you’re yoked with Him, He says the journey is easy because the pressure’s off. There’s no pressure. Imagine going to work tomorrow and there’s no pressure, because the pressure’s on Him. Because He’s in you. This is true, providing you give Him that pressure. If you carry it, the pressure is on you. You take His yoke and you learn – you see the language here? Learn from Me.
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