Grace for the Perfectionist

Monday, March 18, 2013 Posted by Anitra Elmore

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I am a perfectionist.

I work hard to make sure most things I do (especially things I do "for God") are done just right.

I gotta tell you, it is absolutely exhausting. And contrary to popular belief, it's no way to live.

It's one thing to pursue excellence, it's quite another thing to be controlled by that pursuit. I have to remind myself regularly that I am human. Sometimes I actually listen to myself. Other times I work myself into an absolute frenzy until things are perfect or as close to perfect as I can get them here on earth.I call this phenomenon the anti-grace.

It's as if I read 2 Corinthians 12:9 like this:


My grace is almost sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in your perfection.

I have an awful habit of leaning on my own strength, avoiding weakness at all cost and forgetting that His sufficient grace is always there to empower me to live and do all He's called me to do. Sometimes, I just can't stop working. I can't stop sticking my nose in the Lord's business. I know He makes His grace abound toward me so that I can have an abundance for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8), but I still regularly choose to abandon His work for my own.

The very clever, Max Lucado, describes my worker-bee mentality as believing in grace "a lot" and not believing in grace "alone." I love how he explains it:
Grace-a-lots believe in grace, a lot. Jesus almost finished the work of salvation, they argue. In the rowboat named Heaven Bound, Jesus paddles most of the time. But every so often he needs our help. So we give it.--from Grace: More Than We Deserve. Greater Than We Imagine 
It's such a dumb thing to do! But thank God that His grace can't be stopped by our humanness. There is hope (and grace) for this perfectionist if I choose to receive it. And, come to think of it, there's some joy and peace on the other side of that choice as well.




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