I love when God drops something in my lap exactly when I need it. Today it was this article.
Here's an excerpt that got my mind moving this afternoon:
There are many, many, many days when I feel like I am just never going to get it right. Though I try and try, satan keeps saying my efforts aren't good enough and since I'll never reach perfection (something this perfectionistic craves), I should just give up now. I think the first step is knowing that those thoughts come from satan. I am reminded that Paul often said he wasn't there yet, but he was better off than he started out. That brings a lot of comfort to this weary soul.The prostitute on the other hand walks into a party of religious people and falls at the feet of Jesus without any care regarding what others are thinking and saying. She’s at the end of herself. More than avoiding an uncomfortable situation, she wanted to be clean, she needed to be forgiven. She was acutely aware of her guilt and shame–she knew she needed help. She understood at a profound level that God’s grace doesn’t demand that you get clean before you come to Jesus. Rather, our only hope for getting clean is to come to Jesus. Only in the Gospel does love precede loveliness. Everywhere else loveliness precedes love.
Of all the vices and strongholds God has demolished and torn from satan's grasp in order to free me, perfectionism is one I just can't seem to let go of. Each time I feel the weight of those chains lifted I panic and dive into God's Sea of Forgetfulness before they reach the bottom, drag them back to the surface and, half-drowned and exhausted from the effort, lock them back on. Why? Because I don't know life without them, Lord. I've always dealt with this and it's just easier to keep lugging them around, okay? In my mind, I've always been and always will be this way. I've taken care of everything else, Lord, just let me hang on to this one thing... "But it's sinful, Allysa". "No, Lord, I've dealt with the sin. I'm totally good. I gave you everything else, just let me keep this fight for perfection, my poor self-image, my opinions that no one can do it as well as I can."
How is this sinful? Because every time I look in the mirror and say I'm not good enough, I say that Psalm 139:14 is a lie. That I am not fearfully and wonderfully made, but rather that the God of the universe who created solar systems, the central nervous system and German Augmented 6ths makes junk. Each time this control freak spins out of control and micro-manages every detail of a dinner party or loading the stinkin' dishwasher, I say that Ephesians 1:11-12 is wrong and that God does not work out everything in conformity and purpose of His will.
I have to be reminded daily that I don't have to have it right to have hope in Him. "Only in the Gospel does love precede loveliness." Praise be to God. When I lay it down, whatever "it" is, I do not have to pick it up again. In fact, I don't have to have laid it down yet in order to come to Him. He'll hold me and comfort me as He rips that band-aid off.
"We think it’s a mark of spiritual maturity to hang onto our guilt and shame. We’ve sickly concluded that the worse we feel, the better we actually are. The declaration of Psalm 103:12 is the most difficult for us to grasp and embrace: “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” Or, as Corrie ten Boom once said, “God takes our sins—the past, present, and future—and dumps them in the sea and puts up a sign that says ‘No Fishing allowed.’”
Pray with me and for me as God unlocks the stupid chains I still carry. I pray you set down your fishing pole, put on your life jacket and don't even think about diving into that Sea to pick up what He's cast off. Floating is much more relaxing than drowning.
"East to West"
Here I am, Lord, and I'm drowning in your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don't want to end up where You found me
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight
I know You've cast my sin as far as the east is from the west
And I stand before You now as though I've never sinned
But today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way
Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
'cause I can't bear to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other