It’s amazing to me how much perfectionism gets in the way of experiencing peace. Perfectionism comes with a lot of worry. Worry that something isn’t good enough. Worry that we might fail. Worry that we will be judged. Basically, a lot of worry.
All of this worry leads to living a life of perpetual anxiety. No peace. It also keeps us stuck. It can keep us stuck in two main ways:
- We may never start something to begin with for fear that it won’t be good enough.
- We don’t experience freedom because we are caught in the prison cell of continual worry and self-judgment.
Do you struggle with this? I sure do.
Perfectionism is ultimately about control. We want to have control over our lives and circumstances. We want to make sure everything is the best it can be. On the extreme end of this, perfectionism and the need to feel in control can lead to disorders such as:
- Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. A desire to have the perfect body and control your weight.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. A desire to have things be “just so.”
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder. A constant worry about most things that leads to having anxiety on a clinical level.
If you do experience it on a clinical level of some kind, please get help. You can overcome these types of problems. You do not have to be stuck forever. Find a Christian Counselor that you can work with and begin the process of gaining freedom and peace in your life!
Not everyone gets to the point where perfectionism and a need to control things becomes a diagnosable disorder, but, if you notice it cropping up and getting in the way of experiencing freedom and peace on a regular basis, it may be time for you to face this issue and give it the boot.
Let’s look at what the Bible has to say to us about finding peace:
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
Trying to control our lives is futile. We really can’t control much of anything. The only thing we can control is our own thoughts and how we choose to react or respond to a situation. What this means is that our focus should be on trusting God to be in control. Just like the above verse says, if we keep our mind focused on trusting God, we will experience perfect peace.
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The amazing and wonderful thing is that God freely gives us his peace. It’s not an unattainable experience. We need only receive it from Him and it is ours! When we seek peace through what the world offers, it actually drives us toward trying to attain perfection, which ultimately leads to worry, anxiety and fear. When we receive the gift that God gives him, by trusting in Him to know what is best for us and to take care of us, we experience amazing and incredible peace!
John 16:33 says,“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Jesus came that we may have peace. If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He now lives in you! He wants us to know that even in the middle of difficult circumstances we can experience His peace because He is alive in us. He is always with us and can give us comfort and peace even when things seem completely out of control.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
When we struggle with worry and anxiety, we need only to go to God in prayer. We can trust Him with all of our worries and concerns. He will take care of us and He will give us peace. The peace that He gives us is something that seems completely out of place. It’s hard for us to describe that peace because there is no logical explanation for it. People may look at us and ask, “How can you feel so at peace at a time like this?” It’s because God’s peace is beyond our understanding, and it feels amazing.
Peace sounds a lot better than being caught in the trap of perfectionism doesn’t it?
If this is an area that you struggle with, what step will you take to begin overcoming it? How will you begin to walk in peace instead? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment so we can share with you in your journey.