I am a perfectionist.
A perfectionist who doesn’t want to do anything wrong, fears others showing me my failures, and who is constantly aware of what I could do better. I am tempted to define myself by my behavior, my finished to do list, or my perfect children who eat, sleep, and produce according to my plan for them.
But I am not perfect, so my head rails against me to try harder while my heart is breaking under the pressure of the “Perfect Mama” facade I have so carefully crafted. And my children do not have the same plans that I do, so they continue to spit out their carrots, pop out of bed to talk about our furniture (“Is that your couch?” “Yes.” “Ok!”), and fight me on any order I try to create in our lives. The clash of my plans with theirs produces anger and frustration that only leaves us all in tears instead of changing anything.
Because shame never changes anything.
So when Jesus asked me to preach this week on my perfectionism, to admit my failures, and to point others to Him, I truthfully did not feel up to it. Days later when people are telling me it was my best sermon yet, I still do not feel up to it. I continue to identify myself not with Him, but with my own behaviors, works, accomplishments.
I need a reminder of who Christ says I am. Maybe you do to.
“In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Gal 3:26-27)
In Christ we are “dead to sin, but alive to God.” (Romas 6:11)
There is no condemnation for those who are In Christ. (Rom 8:1)
In Christ we have been made holy. (Phil 1:1)
In Christ, we are sanctified (1 Cor 1:2),
In Christ we are made alive (1 Cor 15:22),
In Christ we are brought to fullness, completeness. (Col 2:10)
In Christ, we have freedom (Gal 2:4).
In Christ, we can stand firm. (2 Cor 1:21)
In Christ we are brought near to God by the blood of Christ. (Eph 2:13)
In Christ, we are all children of God (Gal 3:26).
In Christ, we are forgiven (4:32)
In Christ, our hearts and minds are guarded by the peace of God (Phil 4:7)
In Christ we have peace (1 Peter 5:14),
In Christ we have faith, and love (1 Tim 1:14).
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The Old is Gone.
The New Creation has come.
I am blown away by the truth that God has not abandoned me to my failures – real or perceived. That God is healing my hurts, pouring Himself into me, so that I can be made clean. That forgiveness is a daily possibility and that I can always begin again. And that I am always, in all things, clothed in Christ. He has never left me and will never leave me.
I know this is not my best writing, but this is not about me, today. This is about Jesus. And you. You who maybe need as much truth as I do. Let’s walk In Christ together, shall we?