You messed up today? Good! Me too! Too often those slips up and “wish-I-didn’t-do-that” moments can send us down a spiral of thinking that makes us wonder if we’re enough. Am I cute enough? Am I thin enough? Am I successful enough? It’s all in a quest to know if I’m… enough.
Those questions are way too familiar to me. How about you? I have too much pride to ask them out loud, but believe me… I ask them silently to myself all the time.
Why is that?
According to the General Social Survey, which has tracked Americans’ mood since 1972, women are becoming increasingly less happy.
Though there are several variables, I think one big reason is women’s self-imposed drive to be good enough, cute enough, thin enough, and the list goes on and on. As woman, we crave not only to be enough… we place expectations on ourselves to be perfect.
Decades ago, women kept house, reared kids, shopped, cooked, volunteered and juggled lots of other tasks. Today, women keep house, rear kids, shop, cook, work full time, work out (or feel guilty for not working out), run car pools, run a small business, run marathons, volunteer and lots of women do all this plus a buzzillion other invisible things as single moms!
But, instead of women lowering their standards with the increased demands, we’ve actually raised the standard.
We’ve defined success not as just getting things done. We’ve defined success as getting things done perfectly.
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We feel the pressure to look perfect, do our work perfectly, and have the perfect home and perfect family. Consequently, we tend to beat ourselves up when things aren’t “perfect” in our relationships. If we gain ten pounds we think we are ugly and unkempt. If we don’t perform perfectly at work, we can feel like failures.
We can feel like we’re just not good enough and it can make us just want to give up!
So, what’s a girl to do?
Give up on perfect.
Don’t give up on responsibilities, reasonable effort and having realistic standards; just give up on perfect.
Extend the same mercy to yourself that you give to others. You don’t expect them to be perfect, do you?
If your friend asked you if she was good enough, cute enough, thin enough… enough… you would throw your arms around her and say, “You bettcha!” Of course you would. Have reasonable expectations of yourself also.
Faith in Christ invites us to renounce perfection because faith let’s us receive God’s strength and rest in His opinion of us. God created You. He is perfect, not you! Because His grace is sufficient, you are enough.
When you rest in Him and in who He made you to be, it’s easier to loosen your grip of perfectionism. When you let go of your need to be perfect you receive far more satisfaction than you’re striving can offer anyway—you receive the perfect love of God
So rest today. Watch God be perfect. You be you and feel His perfect grace carry you. And you will find that you’ve beaten those statistics—you’ll be a much happier woman!
“… Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor 12:9b ESV)