Spiritual Non-Fiction posted December 18, 2017 Chapters:  ...6 7 -8- 9... 


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Let it Go

A chapter in the book Beauty for Ash and Stone

Perfectionism - Day 8

by MelB




Background
Christian Devotional for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Day 8 

~ Perfectionism ~

Perfectionism is defined as refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.  Perfectionism is unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors we use to hide our flaws.  In ‘Released from Shame,’ Dr. Sandra Wilson states, “Perfectionism is intended to compensate for poor self-concept and the painful sense of binding shame underlying it.  When we do inevitably fail, the resulting self-criticism leads to loss of self-esteem.  This often triggers episodes of depression.  As perfectionists, we can’t tolerate criticism from others in any form, so we react defensively and alienate those close to us.  This only reinforces our belief that we must be perfect to be accepted and loved."

Perfectionists believe they will be loved based on their performance, as more than likely this was modeled in their childhood.  If they can look perfect, act perfect, get perfect grades in school, are the perfect employee, etc., then everyone will love them.  The problem is when you step up on the pedestal, sooner or later, you are bound to fall and fall hard.  Perfectionism is a status we will never achieve, because one can never please everyone.  Sooner or later, you will burn out and become bitter.  This is exactly what happened to me in my 30’s.  I ran the race for so long, and like a mouse on a perpetual wheel that spins faster and faster, I eventually couldn’t keep up and fell off. 

Perfectionism is paralyzing!  When we can acknowledge we are not perfect, and give it all to God, we can begin to receive the grace that only God offers.  Romans 3:23-24 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”  When we can accept the fact that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect in order to be loved by Him, it shatters the chains that keep us locked in bondage.  We are then free to become all God has called us to be and seek His plans for our life.

Today, write a resignation letter to perfection in your journal or better yet, write it and say it out loud.  Try something similar to this:  Dear Perfection, you’ve held onto me for far too long, and made me feel like I can’t measure up.  I believed that I don’t have what it takes for people to love and accept me.  Today, I call you out as a lie!  I no longer believe you, and I’m letting you go.  I resign from being a perfectionist and a shame-based person effective immediately!  Sincerely, Your Name 

How do you feel?  Do you feel free?  If you don’t believe this yet, say it out loud every day until you do.  You’ve got to receive it to achieve it!  I have faith in you.  If I could break free from perfectionism after 30 years, you can too!

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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9



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I appreciate all the great feedback! These are short chapters, because devotional books are small and don't have chapters. I didn't know how else to link it all together as a book.

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