Have you ever felt like you didn’t measure up? I did, constantly, for the first 33 years of my life. I didn’t have a specific issue that caused me to feel that way. I was raised in church and never really strayed from my faith. I had good relationships with family and friends and I was advancing in my career. Achievement driven and goal oriented, I lived under a cloud of “you’re not good enough” because I was striving for perfection in every area of my life.
Then one day, I was pushing myself to achieve a self-imposed goal and freaking out because I wasn’t going to make it – and I had to get it done. In the midst of my panic, I heard God asking “why do you have to?” As I wrestled with this question, God brought me to the realization that the reason I was pushing myself so hard and striving so desperately for perfection was because I felt like I had to earn His favor. Although I knew that my relationship with God was possible only because of Jesus’ sacrifice for me on the cross, I hadn’t grasped that everything was totally based on what Jesus did – not on what I do. Can you imagine how freeing it was to finally understand that I was never intended to be perfect? That it’s okay to make mistakes? It was incredible for me to realize that God loves me just the way I am.
Now I live every day as a “recovering perfectionist.” I’m still achievement driven and goal oriented but the difference is that I know my worth is not based on what I accomplish or if I meet certain standards. Instead, I can be free because I understand that God loves me just the way I am – so much that He was willing to sacrifice His Son for me. By God’s grace I am what I am. (1 Cor 15:10).