Hello, my name is Emily Coleman – I’m highly competitive with tendencies toward perfectionism.
Recently in community group we discussed ways Satan lies to us and leads us away from the Lord. Granted, if I saw these as lies, I wouldn’t believe them. It’s hard even now saying that these are lies, because I believe them to be truth! Let me list some of the things I see as truth, but when I live like this, it only brings me death.
- That I am not desirable until I look a certain way.
- I am not disciplined until I lose the weight.
- I am not successful until am out of debt and have finished Dave Ramsey’s program.
I wrote an email to a friend of mine the other day, completely under the control of these things. In her words my mind is a ‘dark and twisty place’ and she never wants to see inside like that again! (Try living in it.) But to me, since I have yet to reach my various goals, I see myself as undesirable, lazy and a failure.
Somewhere along the way, I’ve twisted real biblical truth into a false gospel. Where Jesus talks about treating your body as a temple; I have given that temple an image, a weight number and tacked on the hope for emotional stability and even a spouse. When Jesus talks about responsibility with finances; I have made money the thing to be desired, and what’s more, I’ve made money equal security, financial success, personal success and even righteousness.
While I am not cured of this mindset, I am now aware of it. Facing these ‘truths’ and debunking them is not easy. Living a healthy lifestyle and being financially responsible are vastly important! But they are not the goal. They do not produce life. They do not save you nor do they satisfy you. Jesus told us to perfect our faith, to be perfect as He is perfect, to love. This paradigm shift has made me realize how self-aware I am and how God-aware I am not. The more I push myself toward perfectionism and rely on myself the further I have taken myself away from Him. The more I make the betterment of myself my drive and purpose, I lose my relationship with my Father and perfecter of my faith.