Letting Go of Perfect

We’re not perfectionists.

Maybe not, but sometimes,  it felt like we were, or at least I was. It’s one thing to expect perfection (or as close as possible) from oneself. But when these same standards are now being applied to our children, they felt harsh, maybe dare I say, perfectionistic. I mentioned it to my husband who disagreed as noted above.

But something still felt off.

I know in my head and heart no one is perfect except God. Jesus has and will be the only living, perfect person. Yet here I am, trying to often achieve that same level.  As a Christian, it’s my goal to become more and more like Jesus every day. However, I know it’ll never happen this side of heaven. So why do I have this perfectionistic quality?

When younger, my tendency was even stronger. Life lessons of losing and not always being the best lowered my expectations over time. Examples of the toll of attempted perfection hit home. Yet still I strived for excellence. I don’t think God wants us to strive for mediocre or being an ‘also ran’. But He also doesn’t want us to lament or feel worthless each time we aren’t perfect.

So where’s the middle? How can I be an imperfect perfectionist?

In this month of focusing on letting go, I’m learning to let go of perfect. I know I’m not the only one with this desire so I am exploring it on my MemoryMinders blog and have even read many books lately on this topic. But the books didn’t hit the nail on the head for me. So let’s explore some more.

Do you ever feel ‘less than’ because others are better than you? Do you feel like a failure when you don’t live up to either your own or other’s expectations? And what’s realistic and not realistic for ourselves, our children or others in our sphere of influence? These are the questions I’ve been thinking about lately.

We have goals and when we fall short, we may feel inadequate or less valuable than others. But God doesn’t value us based on what we do.

He loves us because we are.

That’s it. It’s not because of how perfect we are. [tweetthis]God loves us because we are, not because of how perfect we are. #grace #faith #lettingo[/tweetthis]

Now certainly, He wants us to try and live upright, righteous lives based on the commands found in the Bible and the example of Jesus. But He knows we can never fulfill them all. It’s why He sent Jesus in the first place-to take our place.

Sin will forever prevent us from being perfect. But Jesus overcame our sin with His perfect life. When God looks at us believers now, He only sees Jesus’ perfection, not our own feeble attempts and failures. Reminding myself of this has been a lifesaver.

It’s not about my attempted perfection, but Jesus’ absolute perfection.[tweetthis]Life isn’t about our attempted perfection, but His absolute perfection. #grace #faith #lettinggo [/tweetthis]Life's not about my attempted perfection but His absolute perfection. Jill Hoven, followhisfootprints.org

So I’m learning to be a recovering perfectionist. I’m attempting to be more present and less perfect. I’m finding my own steps on this road by following His perfect footprints already laid. I’m resting in the comfort of His grace even when I feel less than worthy of it. I’m laying all my imperfections at His feet and desperately trying not to pick them back up again.

I’m living as an imperfect person trusting in my perfect Savior.

I still revert back to my perfectionist tendencies at times. It’s another of my imperfections. But trusting in the saving grace of Jesus, I’m attempting to live joyfully even amid my flaws. It’s not always easy and I need His grace daily. But I’ve found living in His grace is so much healthier and freeing than living stuck worrying about my imperfections.

Won’t you join me? If you’re a current or recovering perfectionist, how do you let go of perfect? Chime in with a comment or let’s continue the conversation on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Let’s not allow our expectations of perfection stop us from freely living and experiencing the grace filled life God has planned for us.

Let’s embrace His grace and let go of perfect.

Linking with Crystal at #HeartEncouragement 

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10 thoughts on “Letting Go of Perfect”

  1. I don’t know about you, Jill, but letting go of expectations of perfection for others is coming easier than for myself. Thankfully, God is showing His grace through those closest to me. When I killed our new beta fish, our nine year old granddaughter looked at me in my mourning, and said, “It’s okay, Allie. God knows it was an accident.” How blessed we are that God will encourage us in the ways we need to hear it. Blessings for your journey, Jill!

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    • Agree Alice, I’m so much harder on myself than others and love how God reminds me of His grace anew each day. Thanks!

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  2. Hi Jill…I love your quote: “I’m living as an imperfect person trusting in my perfect Savior.” Perfectionism has been a struggle for me, but I’m recovering with God’s help. Do you listen to the Grit n Grace Girls podcast? They talk about overcoming perfectionism once a week, and I’m proud to be on the production team. Check out gritngracegirls.com and let me know what you think!

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    • Thanks Sarah, I will definitely check out the podcast and thanks for your encouragement. Here’s to recovering by embracing His grace!

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  3. “I’m living as an imperfect person trusting in my perfect Savior.” Amen! It’s my own, often unrealistic, expectations that leave me falling short. But I’m learning to strive for excellence and lean on His grace.

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    • Thanks Crystal, yes, I too strive while fully understanding my strides in striving only come from His grace. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I’m definitely a recovering perfectionist so I enjoyed reading your insights. Your question about what has helped the process of letting go is interesting. I’ve found it to be a very gradual process of getting to know Jesus more, realising that I tend to hold myself to much harsher standards than I do other people, and experiencing grace on a few occasions where I’d let people down and realising that others don’t expect me to be perfect- the pressure comes from myself!

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    • Yes, too often the most pressure comes from within myself to be perfect. But releasing it all to His graceful redemption is such a life saver! Thanks for stopping by and your thoughts, Lesley-here’s to continued recovery for us both!

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  5. I’m also a recovering perfectionist. God’s been digging deep in my heart to bring healing. He’s shown me my perfectionism masks the shame I feel towards myself for not being perfect. The irony is that shame has kept me from making improvements in certain areas. I’m SO thankful for His gentle correction and healing!

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    • Yes as am I loving how God gently (and also sometimes not so gently when needed) brings me to better understanding of Him and His ways. Thanks Marlened and here’s to striving towards better emulation of Christ in our lives!

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