Paralyzed by Perfectionism
We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry it out.
Perfectionism can paralyze us. Perhaps we've been shamed for not being exactly what others wanted us to be. Now the shadow of their unrealistic expectations is cast over how we see ourselves, creating unrealistic expectations for our progress.
Jesus told a story of a man who loaned three servants money to invest for him while he was away. The first two men invested and doubled the money; the third hid his money in a hole. The third servant saw the master through the eyes of fear. He "came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn't plant and gathering crops you didn't cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.' But the master replied, ‘. . . If you knew I harvested crops I didn't plant and gathered crops I didn't cultivate, why didn't you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest' " (Matthew 25:24-27).
When we measure ourselves by others' expectations or by our own need to be perfect, we may not even try. All God asks is that we try to do something with our abilities and resources. When we allow ourselves the option of just making modest progress, we'll find courage to try. Even the least improvement is better than being doomed to complete failure by our perfectionism.
Being willing to try will open the door to new aspects of our recovery.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.