Monday, February 27, 2012

Live Oak Lenten Jouney -Tuesday, Week 1

This year for Lent, I am giving up perfectionism - something that is abstract and a little unusual for a Lenten discipline. Over the past year, God has opened my eyes to my sinfulness in this area of my life. I have realized that as I constantly try to control myself and my environment, I reject God as my savior and redeemer. I try to find perfection in myself, rather than in Christ. I have definitely been working towards giving up the control that I crave and returning it to God, but I thought making a true commitment to doing so during the time of Lent would be the best spiritual journey I could undertake at this point in my life.

I've mentioned my struggle with perfectionism a few times in past blogs but I am not sure anyone other than me realizes how much it affects my entire life. When I do something wrong, if the number on the scale isn't what I think it should be, if I drop the ball on a project, I don't just think I've done a bad job or feel guilty, I feel ashamed and worthless. Unfortunately, I have begun to notice that my son is picking up these traits as well. It is more for him than for me that I want to stop the shame trips. Whenever there is a need for discipline, I always tell him that he is not bad, his choice was bad. Yet, that is not what my actions are telling him.

Objectively, I can affirm that I truly believe a God who created me (or anyone else) and sent his son, Jesus, to die on a cross for me (and everyone else), would not have done so to save creatures He believed to be worthless. I know that in God's eyes, we have immense worth. It is my vision which is the problem.

I am hopeful that God will really work on me in these next six weeks. I want to focus on grace and mercy rather than guilt and shame. I want to accept the love and forgiveness that is freely offered to us (though accomplished through great suffering) and reflect that love to my family. I want to be satisfied with doing my best and getting 'good enough' results, rather than mourning my inability to reach perfection. I want to internalize what I tell my son, that we can't do anything perfectly, because only God is perfect.

Chesney Szaniszlo