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March 20, 2017

Chase Grace: The Problem with Perfection

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about grace, particularly my need to chase grace instead of perfection. I love thought out plans and order, but lately, I’ve noticed how my desire to have everything perfect often leads to paralyzing procrastination and no content creation. I feel like I’m playing a game of double dutch. Like I’m standing outside the rope waiting for the right time to jump in, and no time seems like the right time. Instead of jumping in and possibly getting hit with the rope OR jumping my heart out, I’m on the outside waiting. Instead of chasing grace, I am chasing perfection. When I chase perfection, I don’t give myself space to fail or fly.

Right now I’m working on a new project, and there are tons of tiny things that I could have completed by now. However, since those tiny projects are connected to larger projects that I don’t have the materials for or I am not prepared to complete right now, I just don’t do those projects. As a result, I am nowhere where I need to be. My desire to have things all lined up has caused me to slow down my own progress. How can God bless the project if I am not even moving or providing him with something to bless because I am so caught up with things being perfect and linear. Chasing perfectionism instead of chasing grace has left me with a lot of plans but very little progress.

But what does chasing grace mean to me? It’s all about chasing after God and His promises. It’s  trusting in His word. It’s knowing that where we are weak, He is strong. It’s about presenting our best self and work to God, and trusting that because He loves us that he will provide grace. Grace is God’s gift to us. It is favor. It is forgiveness. It is love. It is all His promises.  A gift that we did not earn. It is Him giving to us what He promised. I am realizing that my work or plans don’t have to be perfect for God’s promises to come to pass.

The truth is, we are all works in progress. Every day we are constantly growing and changing. Occasionally we don’t live up to our own standards. We think we should be a little further, a bit thinner, a lot richer than we are. But here’s the thing, when we chase perfection, we are holding ourselves to unrealistic expectations and ignoring that we serve an awesome God. By chasing grace we give ourselves space and permission to take leaps without being afraid. Through grace, we are able to change the narrative or change what we tell ourselves. Instead of “I have to do this before I do this or things won’t be right,” we can say “Let me do what I can the best I can, and God’s got the rest.”  

Also, the Bible warns us about perfectionism and over thinking.
“He that observeth the wind shall not sow, and he that regardeth the the clouds shall not reap” Ecclesiastes 11:4

“Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?”
Ecclesiastes 7:16
God wants us in the game. He wants us building and creating things for Him to bless.

These are things I am praying about or reminding myself of, and I hope this offers help to someone else. I’m finding that it’s so easy to turn a virtue out of a vice. There is nothing wrong with my love for planning and order, but there is something wrong with me letting it stop me from reaching goals and chasing after God’s promises.

If there is something standing between you and your purpose, I encourage you to examine it and pray about it.

Remember, YOU GOT THIS, and God’s got you.

Love,

Jenell

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