"I have come that they might have life and have it to the full..." -John 10:10b

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Perfectionism Comes Before the Fall

So, I'm a perfectionist.

I think I may have mentioned that here and there on this blog. Perhaps just every now and again. You might not have picked up on that. But there it is.

My husband and I were lounging in the living room one late Sunday afternoon, well scratch that...I was lounging. He was reading news articles on the internet. Anywhoo, he came across an article that linked perfectionistic tendencies to depression. More specifically, Post Partum Depression but really just depression in general.

This got me thinking.

I am one of those perfectionistic people.

I have struggled with depression.

I'd never thought that one might be contributing to the other.

But now that I've thought about it, it makes total sense!

How easy it is to fall into a depression when the standards you cannot live up to are coming from none other than YOURSELF!!! I mean, we can look at other people and their expectations of us and flippantly wave it off if we want to spouting something along the lines of, "that's his problem! No one could live up to that!" But when it comes from within well, that's not quite as easy to wave off.

A very wise man, the father of this very wise woman, once told me that the sneakiest thing about Satan is that he uses our own voices to get to us. He whispers things in our ears, into our hearts and mind that would have us believe we are worthless, valueless and pathetic. And he does so in the voice that is most familiar to us. A voice that we would only recognize as absolute truth because that's the voice that narrates our entire being. Tricky, tricky, tricky is that Great Deceiver, is he not?

Do you ever wonder why those horribly negative things are so much easier to believe than the good stuff? I do.

I mean, why can't I walk around in a fit of joy singing about the promise that I was "fearfully and wonderfully made ?" Do I not believe that God has the ultimate authority, even over Satan himself? Of course I do, but that's just so easy to forget.

Why am I so quick to think so badly of myself?

I mean, when I stop to think about it, my standards for myself are actually higher than anything God expects from me.

To be a godly woman in MY head means:

clean house,
well behaved kids,
crazy happy husband,
no enemies,
no drama,
no dust,
no dirt,
no baggage,
well dressed,
always knows the right thing to say and do
and executes perfectly!

I can't live up to that. I mean, maybe one or two things every now and again but not all of them and certainly not all the time!

And therein lies the root of a perfectionists' depression.

We can't live up to our own standards.

But what are the two greatest commandments? What are the two things that God says He needs from us more than anything else?

1. Love the Lord your God with all of your Heart, Soul and Mind
2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Nothing in there about how clean your house must be or how well dressed you have to be.

It just comes down to LOVE.

Love your God,
Love your neighbor,
Love yourself.

Cause God Loves you. Just the way you are. Imperfections and all!

1 comments on "Perfectionism Comes Before the Fall"

Katie on July 29, 2010 at 6:19 PM said...

Thanks. I needed that.