Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 NIV
I read the books, watched the TV shows, did the prenatal classes… and when the baby came, I was still unprepared. I couldn’t figure out why she cried, much less how to make her stop! Pretty soon I was crying too.
I couldn’t tolerate the messy house. I had the feeling that “surviving another day” was such a great achievement. I didn’t care if it was “normal” to feel that way, or to live that way with a newborn. I thought, surely if I worked just a little harder, I can do better than “normal”? Why should I settle for “normal,” if I can do better, or best?
Even if no one saw or knew about my failings, I knew. And it crushed me. So once the baby became a toddler, and life started to feel less complicated, we had baby number two and it started all over again. There were many other areas where perfectionism haunted me; but as my children grew, the stakes got highest in motherhood. Now they were going out in public and showing the world whether I was a bad or a good parent, depending on their mood.
Being at the mercy of a toddler and a preschooler for my self-esteem was hard enough; but I really hated the thought of failing these little ones. I wanted to know how to teach them humility and quiet confidence, honesty, goodness, loving others, good manners, a solid work ethic, to love the LORD with all their hearts… whew! I was overwhelmed.
And I was a terrible role model because all this perfectionism, and failing, made me grouchy and insecure and, sometimes, a little weepy.
If we are seeking excellence rather than seeking God, we head for trouble.
The mind is the battlefield. While we must honor God in our work, that includes submitting to Him in our schedules and in any possible outcome of our endeavors.
When we cannot relinquish control to God, it is because we are honoring ourselves over Him. Surely, He knows best in terms of what is required of me this day? Surely, I must work to please Him today rather than working to please myself or others.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galations 1:10 ESV
Start tomorrow with a prayer. Instead of asking for the Lord to help you complete your to do list, ask Him to help you accept His.
Dear Lord, Help us to take our eyes off ourselves and our desires. Show us what You have in mind for us to do and help us to feel Your pleasure when we pursue Your agenda, instead of our own.
Free To Be Me by Francesca Battistelli