Grace for a Proud Heart (kinda deep… watch out)

by SomeGirl on September 6, 2011 · 12 comments

Hi. I’m Michelle. And I’m a perfectionist.

It’s something I’ve struggled with since I was a child and something I’ve brought with me into adulthood.

I like to make light of it and joke about being a recovering perfectionist, but the truth has been hitting me hard this past week and was driven home tonight after an encouraging discussion with a new friend…

I’m a perfectionist and perfectionism is nothing more than pride.

Pride without grace.

I take great pride in doing things well and in my children doing things well, but I don’t stop there. I push and push on toward the goal of being perfect… of my being perfect… of their being perfect. And it’s simply not attainable.

I will not be perfect. They will not be perfect. And I need to stop expecting or trying to make it happen.

I need to offer grace to myself and to my boys and realize that being less than perfect is part of being human…. part of life. We will all make mistakes – some intentionally and some in the heat of the moment, and it’s okay. It’s more than okay, it’s expected.

My boys are sweet and kind, loving and caring. They want to do what is right and desire to do well.

But they will misbehave and choose foolishness from time to time as they grow.

I am a good mom and do things well. I want to be the best I can be. But I will have days when words do not come out as calmly and lovingly as I would like. I will not always be as patient as I am normally.

And that’s okay.

I don’t have to lose heart over either of our situations. I don’t have to feel as though the world is falling to pieces and my boys are lost forever over a couple of days.

It will all be okay.

God is continually at work in our lives. He is making each of us what He wants us to be; He is mindful of how we are formed. He has compassion on us and remembers that we are just dust.

He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. And, moreover, He detests pride.

So, I give it over to Him. I confess that my heart is filled with pride as I try to do what only Christ could do in living a perfect life here on earth. I acknowledge that to make mistakes is not a sign of failure, but a sign of life. And I pray with all my heart that God would make me a soft-hearted person filled with grace toward myself and others. May it be, Lord Jesus, may it be!

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Thank you, God, for that promise!

And thank you, sweet friends, for listening as I pour my heart out before you and the Lord.

(Yes, it is *that* time of the month.)

Btw, I’ll try to get a photography Wednesday post out sometime before Wednesday is over… but I’ll give myself grace if I don’t make it. ;)

Find other ponderings from moms like you at Moms Mustardseeds.

{ 12 comments }

Michelle

AW….GOOD post! Sending love and hugs and grace your way. :)

That pride/vanity message keeps coming up, and I really don’t care for it. But I’m listening anyway, and trying my best to take it to heart and do something about it. So, thanks. And you’re not alone!

Barbara

Love the statement that perfectionist is pride without grace. Called to be obedient in all things and delight in Him. That’s it! What freedom there is in that!
Thanks Michelle.

Cranberry Morning

Praise God that He loves us and graciously works in our hearts to point out these things to us so that we can become more like Jesus. How hopeless we are without His grace and mercy! I had a similar revelation lately that I will probably share in an upcoming post. Pride is such a common enemy of Christ!

Rebecca

This is what I hold on to: “he is faithful and just and will forgive us ” Now that you’ve confessed…don’t walk around with your head down. Accept his forgiveness..and allow him to change you….I only feel like I can say that…because I understand your post so much…it is so close to my heart….and I am so thankful for you sharing it today!!

Lisa

Perfection is pride, that’s a great point! I’m not perfect, but I’m so thankful for God’s grace. I want to accept that grace and offer it to others. Great encouragement!

Stefanie Brown

You’re speaking my language, friend! Perfectionism has been a sworn enemy for years. I appreciate what you said: “I will not be perfect. They will not be perfect. And I need to stop expecting or trying to make it happen.” Letting go is so freeing. I’m so thankful it is in His perfection I am made whole!
Looking forward to lunch Friday :)

Betsy at Zen Mama

Michelle,
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just remind yourself that some day the boys will be off at college and the house will be perfect… except for the fact that you’ll be missing them! And there’s the old adage… boys will be boys!

Julie Anne

As a fellow perfectionist (one who doesn’t know how to receive grace or give grace) Thank you for this reminder … will you post it again for me next month, and the next month and the next month??!! :)

Kelli

Although it was not your intention, you really ministered to my heart today. I too suffer from being a perfectionist, and oh how exhausting and self~inflicting it is. But you are absolutely right, it IS pride, Pride without grace, God’s grace that lavishes upon us so abundantly. Yet, in our perfectionism we put on our blinders and refuse to be blessed, we refuse to accept God’s grace. Oh, this has been something the Lord has been working on me for a while now. Thanks for sharing, what an encouraging thought to know I am not the only one that suffers from such turmoil. Because as a perfectionist you know you have a problem, so what do you do? You set out to fix it of course, and demand perfection (and fail miserably every single day!). So today, I wanted to let you know that you were an encouragement. Have a great weekend =) I am a new follower…looking forward to getting to know you more.

Jennifer

I had to go back to 1 John 1:9 recently myself—to remind myself that I am really forgiven, whether I feel like it or not. Your post also reminds me of another verse I think of often: “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Jana

WOW. I sat down tonight to get caught up on my RSS subscriptions and… WHAM! This is so heartfelt and transparent. I love this: “perfectionism is nothing more than pride…without grace.” Ouch. You’re so right about that. I have been forgiven of so much and am so much in need of giving and receiving grace. Thank you for sharing your heart so beautifully. I’m so glad to know you, my friend!

Katie @ Imperfect People

Ummm yea pretty much love this. This is the whole reason I started my blog. Becaue I needed blogging therapy for my recovering perfectionism. Love your honesty. This is so great!

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