Thursday, January 6, 2011

How Perfectionism and Procrastination Affect Your Relationship with Jesus

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It has always boggled my mind how good habits are so difficult to develop and bad habits are so easy to acquire! Maybe it's because bad habits "happen" to us, but we have to "happen" to good habits in order to make them stick! Author Marla "FlyLady" Cilley candidly admits her routines took months to become habits. Perhaps that's why so many people love the FlyLady and her wonderful website! She isn't ashamed to share that her good habits took a great deal of effort, and therefore, a great deal of time.

Unfortunately, our culture places a premium on speed. The battle cry is, "Get 'er done!" When our homes or our schedules don’t fall into perfect order immediately, we are quick to declare ourselves failures. But the truth is not everything can be popped in the microwave. Good habits will not be had at the drive-thru window. Nope...sometimes we are going to have to find a place to park before we go anywhere else!

Did you know your relationship with Christ can suffer from that same perfectionist mentality? Oh, believe me--it can! See if this scenario sounds familiar: You decide that you want a deeper walk with the Lord. So you begin reading God’s Word, praying more, and looking for ways to serve Him. After a mere few days of this resolve, you still aren’t the Christian you want to be. Life crowds in with its dirt and clutter: secret sins, favorite hurts, and familiar fears. Your resolve is shaken, and once again, you find yourself feeling defeated. What then?

Or this scenario: Trying to establish the habit of a daily quiet time. Dear readers, not only does this take daily determination, it must stand up to daily interruption! Whether it is your kids, your husband, or simply your own wandering mind, this is where the enemy will fight you the hardest. Will you fight back? Or will you say, "Well, there's no way I can have a decent time with the Lord today. There's too much going on. Or, I need my rest. Or, The kids are already up and going crazy. Or, I'll do it later."

When I battled perfectionism with my quiet time, the Lord reminded me of one boy, two fish, and five barley loaves. I hate to think if I had been there and had anything to do with that day! I would have immediately dismissed that child's lunch because it wouldn't have been enough. But not Jesus. He knows it is never going to be enough. That's why we need Him. When it comes your quiet time, there will never be enough time. There will never be enough energy. There will never be enough focus. There will never be enough holiness. That's why whatever we bring to Him is just loaves and fishes. He does the multiplying. He makes sure there is enough.

Maybe the tendency to perfectionism is rooted in not fully understanding the Grace of God. But we don’t have to be perfect to please Him. He loved us first! That undeserved love washes over our sin with the grace of forgiveness and the healing power of a Father’s favor. Whether it is our homes or our hearts, there is nothing we can do without Him. Surrender your imperfections to the power of the perfect Savior. He will strengthen your weak resolve, heal your hurts, and dismiss your defeated mindset. Give Him your loaves and fishes: Got 30 minutes? Great! Only got 5 minutes? Give them to Him anyway!

The FlyLady says, "Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family." So then, it makes sense to me that a quiet time done imperfectly will still bless your heart. :)

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