Often we get discouraged and lose faith, simply because we spend so much time beating ourselves up for our flaws.
Hi, my name is Leslie Householder and I want to talk to you today about perfectionism and prosperity as parents who try to do our best but fall short. So how does that work? How can we still accomplish our goals? The fact is that God can always do something good with your less than perfect performance. Here’s the thing, we live in a time when we get stressed. We get overloaded and overwhelmed and under these pressures it’s hard to remain calm and that’s the state of mind that’s necessary to live in harmony with the laws of success. Often, we get discouraged and we lose faith simply because we spend so much time beating ourselves up for our flaws. So, the blessings that you’re praying for require a calm state of mind. A demonstration of faith, but when we’re disappointed in ourselves it’s tough to have faith. The problem is, so long as we’re not perfect there’s always something to be disappointed about. So, what do we do about that? How can we have peace of mind when we’re so imperfect? Do we have to think, behave and do everything perfectly for the blessings to come? No, we don’t!
So, in my book Hidden Treasures, I mentioned that I had a perfectionist mentality for many years until after I married and I had children and discovered how literally impossible it is to be perfect, even when you give it all you’ve got. For a simple example, I’d make a commitment to study a certain amount each day or week and I’d sit down to read just as a baby in the other room would wake up and start to fuss. Or I’d get the kids to bed and open my books just to hear someone crying and then one of the toddlers would throw up. It seems that something always got in the way of my ability to make a commitment to myself and keep it. I had gotten pretty good at self-mastery before starting a family but all that changed after the first baby. Finally, one day I surrendered. I realized I’d become a cranky sloppy person with the utter inability to finish anything I tried to start. Anything that did get done was done half-shod. I collapsed in tears and expressed to God how sorry I was that I was such a failure. I was devastated and confessed that I was doing the best I knew how and that as poorly as I was doing it, it was all I could do! For the first time in years I felt him really smiling down on me. It was as if he was saying, “Finally! You realize your dependence on me!” Everything changed after that.
How does this lesson apply to me now? I still have all the interruptions that come with family life even more now than ever. In fact, a paper airplane just hit me in the head and I’m not even kidding! I don’t have time to plan, prepare, and execute much of anything as perfectly professionally or impressively as I should. Let’s say I’m selling something and if doing the presentation poorly could cost me the deal I have two choices; I can either think oh dear I did such a bad job; or I can think that’s just going to have to be good enough. So which mentality brings success? Now I know that my best is never going to be good enough and now that I know that God understands and is okay with that, so long as I really try, I rely on him to make up the difference for my inadequacies. When I’m trying to do a good job and I blow it anyway; I think of him and pray that he can make something useful out of my less than perfect efforts. And so long as I believe that, I’ve seen miracles.
So then, do we have to think behave and do everything perfectly in order for the blessings to come? No, we will not live the principles perfectly no matter how hard we try but, we can think of God when we come short and pray for mercy.
Announcer: This has been a little bit of wisdom with Leslie Householder. Listen to her podcast and download her books free at ararekindoffaith.com