I will be the first person to admit that I am a perfectionist. Not in the sense that I care about tiny details, but in the sense that I try to be as perfect as possible.
The perfect friend – always showing up. Remembering birthdays, anniversaries. Meeting regularly. Buying the most excellent presents. Cooking their favourite food.
The perfect mum – always saying ‘yes’ to my children’s demands for attention. Keeping them healthy. Staying on top of school work. Keeping up with their imaginary games. Giving them opportunities.
The perfect career woman (albeit, part time) – hard working, arrive early, stay late, do exams.
The perfect band member – practice regularly, set an example, be invested in other’s progress
Stay fit, use my phone less, keep an organised house, be friendly at all times (the list is ENDLESS). All this whilst being in constant connection with Jesus.
(This is like a therapy session. I think I need to talk to Jonny….)
Why do I do this to myself?! Because I believe the lie that to be perfect, I must tick more boxes, I must do more things.
The irony is that the more perfect I try and become, the less brain space and physical space I have to be more like Jesus.
Now to turn the conversation away from me and towards you. I wonder what you have filled your life up with so you can meet your/someone else’s standard of ‘perfection’. I surely can’t be the only one who suffers from this long list of cultural pressures…(I hope!!!)
This is very drastic, but imagine if we stripped away everything and started to rebuild our lives from scratch adding in only the things that bring us closer to Jesus and our community. Imagine shaking off all our commitments and rebuilding a new life which prioritises the practices of Jesus.
Surely this is the route to true perfection.
(I should make it clear that I don’t think this is an excuse for idleness, Jesus definitely was not idle, nor am I shaming those who genuinely feel closer to God with a full diary).
A life free of distracting thoughts and activities which makes more time for silence, solitude and community will provide more space for seeing more of Jesus in ourselves, others, scripture, nature etc and for widening the reach of his Kingdom.
Can you actually imagine that?! I think I can, you know. The scary bit is making it a reality. Letting go of the lie and focussing on the truth. Setting boundaries on your time and energy so you can be free to be more like Jesus.
Is anyone up for giving this a go with me? Has anyone got any tips on how to change a lifestyle like this? Any thoughts will be gratefully received. Meghan
Note: This matter has been on my mind a lot recently after getting a bit obsessed with the work of John Mark Comer, which I highly recommend.