Don't let a sense of inadequacy paralyze your purpose.

March 5, 2009 at 10:04 am 2 comments

I suffer from a severe case of perfectionism.  I don’t just want a house that looks nicely decorated and pulled together; I want it to look like it came out of Better Homes & Gardens magazine.  I don’t approach diets with the mindset of becoming as healthy and fit as I can be; I want to look like Heidi Klum.  I don’t want to do just a good-enough job on most of my projects; I want to do them perfectly.

My perfectionism is coupled with a chronic condition of insecurity.  I doubt my taste in furnishings.  I don’t believe that I can resist the chocolate brownie.  I don’t think my project will come out perfectly, or even close to the way it should be.

The combination of perfectionism and insecurity leads to a third, potentially lethal condition: paralysis.  Because I want my house to look perfect, but doubt my tastes, I look but buy nothing.  If I screw up on a diet – I ate the brownie – I consider the diet completely lost and throw in the towel.  I give up on projects midway through because my goals are loftier and harder to attain than I originally thought.  Instead of taking small steps to complete the goal, I have a tendency to approach my life with an all-or-nothing attitude.

I do this in my spiritual life, too.  I have worthwhile goals: spend time praying and reading my Bible every day.  There are days, though, when life gets in the way and before I know it, it’s bedtime and I haven’t spent any time with God that day.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen asleep as I was praying.

I live in a constant state of feeling inadequate, as if the things I can’t do personify my life more than the things I can do.  It’s a screwed up way of looking at things.  I understand that we all have different talents and skills, and that I have my own strengths.  However, I tend to focus on my weaknesses instead.

But you know something?  God only wants what I have to give.  Nothing more, nothing less.  He wants me to focus on the things that I possess – material things as well as skills and talents – and dedicate those to His use.  When I do that, He alone can fill in my inadequacies and use what I give Him to bless others.

About 2,000 years ago, a great mass of people descended upon the far shore of the Sea of Galilee to hear Jesus speak.  The multitudes came impulsively, for they had heard that Jesus would be in the region.  Most came without food.  A boy in the crowd carried with him five small loaves and two small fish, barely enough to feed himself for the day.  Imagine the astonishment among the disciples when Jesus proposed to feed the crowd with this meager selection.  Yet when He blessed it, everyone in the crowd ate to their satisfaction.  They even had twelve baskets of leftovers!

Think what might have happened if the boy had protested, refusing to turn over his food because he believed it wasn’t enough, that it was an inadequate selection.  The masses would have gone hungry that day, and Jesus would not have used the opportunity to perform a miracle.  Many believed because of the things He did that day.

I pray that God may fill in the gaps and bolster my inadequacies so that He may be glorified in my life.  One of the ways He does that is by surrounding me with people who have different talents.  They are strong where I am weak.  And no matter where I am strong, God is infinitely stronger.  He alone can bless the things I have to give and use them for His purpose.  And that’s enough for me.


Entry filed under: Life in general.

An irrational rant. The bedtime debacle.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Danica  |  March 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Oh Amy, I am so with you on this one-I either want everything perfect or I just don’t bother with it! I am horrible when it comes to my thinking this way! There have been countless nights I have fallen asleep praying, because I waited until the very end of the day to spend any time with God (although I am getting better with not waiting until the end of the day)! I too pray that he will fill in the gaps for both of us so that he may be glorified through us!! I love reading your blog-I always find inspiration in what you’ve written. You’re the bestest! 🙂

  • 2. Michelle Swift  |  March 8, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Your blog blesses me every time I read it! Thank you.


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