I read an excellent post today on a blog called, Joyful Musings, titled Grace-Filled Families-Part 1, & Part 2. The author, Barbara Moon, is teaching how to raise a grace-filled family, with the ultimate goal being that of introducing our children to the love, acceptance and grace of God.
In her post, Barbara, defines grace as, “favor that is not deserved.” She goes on to say, “Giving grace to those around us draws them to God and His ways. Children who grow up in a family filled with grace are more likely to want to know God.” She further states, “a home without grace leads to “perfectionism” which breeds many other problems down the road.” Beautifully stated, and I can’t agree more! This post hit home with me on many different levels and caused me to reflect on my own struggles with perfectionism.
I developed an attitude of “perfection” early in life. My perfection or performance was designed to give me the acceptance, love and value I deeply desired. After many exhausting years, I came to understand that perfection/performance actually blocks out love and grace. I was unable to let the grace of God enter into my heart. Why is that? Because I knew the ugly truth about me–I wasn’t perfect! The lie I believed about not being perfect caused me to hide my face from God, instead of embracing Him and moving towards Him!
I lived out my life believing I was trapped for all eternity in the lie of perfectionism. It was not until I admitted the truth and started letting go of the lies I believed that I was able to accept the love and grace of God. Then, and only then, did I begin to heal as His love and grace entered into me. Love and grace are intended to draw us towards God and not away from Him. As I stated above, perfectionism/performance blocks out love and grace.
In her post, Barbara, further states that perfectionism is a “killer of joy,” and leaves a person believing they are “unworthy, unimportant and inadequate.” I find this statement to be absolutely true. Not only do we believe these things about ourselves, we assume God and others see us this way, too. Instead of living and operating from grace in our own lives, and in how we relate to God and others, we assume and believe we are totally unacceptable, unloved and of no value or worth. The bigger tragedy is when we begin to expect and demand perfection from other people because of our own faulty beliefs. When we live as if we are perfect then we expect no less from others. Nothing will wound and damage our relationships quicker than demanding and expecting perfection from the ones we love and care about the most. We become like puppets on a string or robots at best. We go through the motions and we perform; however, there is no life in us!
It has been an incredible discovery to realize that perfection is only found in God Himself. He never expected nor placed the demand of perfection onto us. The truth of this discovery has been both healing and liberating. Without His healing touch I’m convinced I wouldn’t have survived. That might sound extreme; but it’s not, because perfection is a destroyer of life and is destructive beyond words. It truly threatens to consume and destroy everything in its path!
I am so thankful for the unconditional and grace-filled love of Jesus! Without the healing of His grace and unconditional love, I wouldn’t have allowed His love to penetrate my wounded and broken heart. His unconditional love and His amazing grace are gifts freely extended to each of us. The only thing we have to do is, by faith, through Christ Jesus, accept what Jesus has already done for us! Since the beginning of time, God’s plan and purpose has always been to draw us towards Him. His desire is for us to enter into an intimate and unconditional love relationship with Him–He desires our company–how amazing is that!
P.S. I do not pretend to know all I need to know about love and grace; nor, do I “perfectly,” live from grace. But, the good news is I do not have to! We are a work in progress and daily we are being transformed (changed) into the likeness of Jesus. And, I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8
The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
PTM.org Plain Truth Ministries, teaching God’s amazing grace!
Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net