That Pesky Thorn

What is that thorn in your side? One of mine is perfectionism. I’ve wrestled with this since I was a teenager. It used to be so much worse, but God has been working on me with this one for a long time. It’s gotten a lot better, but still rears its ugly head during times of stress or uncertainty. The other day, I made a lot of mistakes and felt like a failure. I’ll admit. I didn’t want to write. I felt unqualified, but my husband suggested I make a list of all the ways I’m not perfect and all the ways God is. So here I am.

Here are 6 ways I’m far from perfect:

I’m impatient

I can be negative

I get easily frustrated

I like things done a certain way

I raise my voice

I struggle with letting go

Here are 6 ways that God is perfect:

1. He is the God of all grace and His grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in weakness.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. -2 Corinthians 12:9

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. -1 Peter 5:10

Grace upon grace upon grace. See the common theme? His grace more than makes up for our weaknesses. In fact, His power is made perfect in our weakness. His power shines through our weaknesses. It is through our flaws and brokenness that He can best work and be glorified.

2. His way is perfect and His Word is flawless.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. -Psalm 18:30

Our way is not even close to perfect, but His is. When we try to do things in our own strength and our own way, we falter. Earlier this week, I tried to be and do in my own strength and I failed. He is our refuge though, and we can take shelter in Him when we make mistakes. And His Word is flawless, so we can rely on that Truth to help correct and instruct us to live a more righteous life. When we are struggling with guilt and perfectionism, meditating on His Word, which is alive and powerful, can also restore us.

3. He is Holy.

“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” 1 Samual 2:2

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Holy as “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.” It also says that holy means: divine. There is no one holy like Him. And therefore, only He can help us become more holy and righteous, because we were made in His image. We can’t do this on our own.

4. His works are perfect. He does no wrong.

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. -Deuteronomy 32:4

He is a perfect and just God on whom we can stand. When we stand firm on the Rock, we can withstand anything. If He is our foundation, we will not collapse under the weight of our failures.

5. The Law of the Lord is perfect.

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; -Psalm 19:7

His law is meant to instruct us in the right way and when we obey His law, He will restore us and renew our spirits. With obedience, comes blessings. So when we are struggling with perfectionism and guilt, let’s ask ourselves if we are following His law.

6. He is the God of love and peace.

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. -2 Corinthians 13:11

He is love and He is peace. And His perfect love casts out fear. So when we are afraid that we aren’t enough-that we aren’t perfect enough, that we aren’t doing enough-that we aren’t (fill in the blank) enough, we can rest assured that His perfect love will cast out that fear if we let it.

Therefore, those times when we try to be perfect, and we can’t, we don’t have to fear, because we have a God who is. And He will fill in the gaps for us with His love, mercy and grace. For He is perfect in all of His ways. And He is a God who loves without limits.