Pulling Apart Life's Pressures for the Perfectionists - Ellie Fellbaum Rogers, MA, LPC-I
Updated: Aug 27, 2018
There is a pressure to be “perfect.” Unflawed. Unfaltering. No mistakes. No sins. No loss of control. No weakness. There is expectation to be like Jesus, yet what exactly does this mean? And how can our humanness fit into such parameters?
Biblically, Christ was both fully God and fully man. How are we, as only human, to reach such heightened expectations? The Lord sent His only begotten Son to die so that man could be with God again. He covered our sins. Therefore, are we called to live without weakness? Or could our calling be to draw near to God and love Him. Second Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’”
How could this verse shift the perfectionistic pressures that so many believers face daily?
A common belief among leaders of churches, those in ministry and Christians in general is that we must live calm, wise, and constantly selfless lives. Could this pressure actually push us into deeper immaturity and anxiety? From my own personal and professional experience, this area of spirituality seems to be a slippery slope for human brokenness to hijack our theology and lose sight of God and His plan.
Recognizing the patterns of our internal beliefs and how these play out in our daily lives through our reactions and interactions with people seem to be directly integrated with where our faith stands as humans. If, instead, we find comfort in who we have been designed and created to be, in operating as an individual member of the body of Christ, then we can focus on being the best proverbial hand or foot or eye. Operating through that lens allows us to be used to our full capacity. When we try to do all things for everyone around us, taking on others’ responsibilities, losing connection and authenticity through the mask of wanting to seem to have it all together, we are disconnecting from our true selves and from God.
“ For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:3-5, ESV) As Paul states here in Romans, it is easy for humans to take on responsibility that is not their own and expect to be everything to everyone. However, this is not living in the manner of how the Lord created us; we each have our unique part to play.
Living in the manner that God designed you to live starts by figuring out your strengths and understanding your history. Only then can you thoughtfully approach how to use such gifts as you draw near to the Creator and find rest in His plan for your life.
Ellie Fellbaum Rogers, MA Licensed Professional Counselor--Intern #76240 Supervised by Leah McDill, PhD, LPC-S #13143 512-522-4285 firstname.lastname@example.org