The Prison of Perfectionism


Since the beginning of time, moms have wanted to be perfect. It started with Eve, enticed by the serpent who offered her an amazing deal: “Eat this and your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Who doesn’t want to be like God? Isn’t that the aim of the Christian life anyway, to be like the God-man Jesus Christ? And shouldn’t mothers want to discern between good and evil so we can raise our children well?

There may be many theological answers to these questions, but my simple mind responds with a simple truth: we cannot be all-wise and all-knowing. Only God can be that. Unfortunately, we moms – like Eve – fall prey to these aspirations.

We want to see the future or have perfect faith that prevents trial and tragedy in our families.

We don’t want to make mistakes or suffer the embarrassment of failure.

We want wisdom to raise kids who don’t sin or stumble spiritually, emotionally, or academically.

We want to keep a perfect house; cook perfect meals; create perfect vacations, birthday parties, and holidays.

We want a perfectly healthy body; a perfect career; a perfect marriage.

On and on.

All of this seems sincere enough, but what we are really asking for is to be superhuman. Not only is that impossible, it’s also an affront to God’s desire that we depend upon him for all things. If we are all-wise and all-knowing, we don’t even need God.

What a great ploy of Satan. He convinces us we can be perfect and then he shames us because we’re not! The daily reel of our “stupid mistakes” does not come from our loving Father. It comes from Satan who wants to keep us chained to perfectionism.

Thankfully, Jesus died to put a halt to selfish ambition. No other man was perfect like Jesus. His death is our reminder that we are sin filled and imperfect. How freeing to embrace our humanity so we can then embrace this promise:

God is working in you to help you want to do what pleases him.

Then he gives you the power to do it. Philippians 2. 13












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