I am a perfectionist. I like presenting my life as a nice, clean, pretty package for all the world to ooh and
ah over. I like my Facebook profile to coordinate. If I don’t get one hundred percent on a test I feel as if
I’ve failed- even if I get 95%. If I stutter over my words in public, I am left feeling ridiculous for the rest
of the day. I hate it when my struggles are exposed.
Perhaps you are now nodding your head in complete agreement. Maybe- just maybe- you can relate. The
thing about perfectionism, however, is that I am setting up my own standards. For me, perfection is
generally defined as those wonderful moments when I feel happy- also known as those moments when
everything is going my way. When I feel accomplished. When I feel successful. When life is not going
my way and I feel stressed, not accomplished, and far from successful I define myself as a
If I set my own standard of perfectionism, then I will never be ‘good enough’ and I will never
fulfil my own flesh. If I set my own standard of perfectionism, then I will always remain a
failure in my own eyes. I can never live up to my own standard. And that’s why it is so comforting
that I don’t have to define myself according to my failures or successes- I am defined by God!
He calls His very own masterpiece.
Rend Collective recently posted the following on their Facebook page: ‘…Maybe you’re wrestling with the
phrase ‘good enough’- we all do sometimes. The thing is, we don’t claim our victories for ourselves and toss our
failure into the arms of Jesus. He claims them all. He claims us entirely. Which means we’re no longer slaves to our
failure or our successes. There’s no longer “good enough”, there’s just “His”. Rest in that knowledge today, He won’t
walk out. He won’t walk out. He won’t walk out.’
I absolutely love these words! We can never be ‘enough’ but, as Christians, we are His. This is the truth
we must rest in.
You see, if I am completely honest with myself, I idolize perfection. Instead of relying on God, I
struggle to be ‘good enough’. While God has already defined me as His precious child, I blindly scramble
around, trying to control my own life and reach the heights of perfectionism. That said, time and time
again, I only reach the depths of depression and stress. I am missing out on living this life fully because
instead of crying out to God and admitting ‘I can’t live this life without You!’ I am reaching inward and trying to
satisfy my own self, hopelessly attempting to reach my standard of perfection, all the while trying to
prove myself perfect in the sight of those I know and love. God calls us to be like Him. To be like Christ
doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. Rather, we are trying to be like Him because we aren’t perfect and He is.
I don’t want people to see my ugly side. I don’t want them to know of my anxious heart, or that I
struggle in math, or to know of my continual temptation of procrastination. I want to appear perfect. I
want to be perfect. But sometimes, we need to share our stories and ugliness. Remember, it was through
Jesus’ scars that doubting Thomas believed. Through our stories, struggles, and ugliness, maybe- just maybe- we’ll
bring encouragement and Light to others. Struggles- even the seemingly little ones (like math!)- are what
make us human. Friends, family, and even those we don’t really know, crave transparency.
They desire honesty. Just like you and I foolishly believe we're the only ones who struggle, so do they.
And sometimes, all it takes is admitting, ‘I am not perfect, but God is.’
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
-1 John 1: 8-10
'Handle with Prayer' is a column that all of us SLAH columnists contribute to. Please take your time and enjoy the teen thought and insight of each article!