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To the Girl Trying to Reach Perfection


To the girl trying to reach perfection,


Isn't it exhausting to strive all the time? To constantly be comparing and "grinding" and working to be the best?


My friend, for just a moment, lay it down. Lay down the burden of striving for perfection and be yourself. In this place, you don't need to be anything more than your authentic self.


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30


Jesus invites you to lay down all the pressures of perfection and pick up His "yoke". It sounds backwards, doesn't it? To lay down your burden just to pick up another one? But Jesus' burden is easy and light. There's no pressure to be something that you aren't. There's no pressure at all, actually. To pick up Jesus' yoke is to choose to walk with Him; sometimes this looks like denying yourself, but it always looks like freedom, joy, and restoration.


It is my prayer for you to know that you are wanted and loved just as you are. You don't need to be "perfect" or "flawless", sweet girl. God created you just as He desired you to be, and He doesn't make mistakes.


I want you to understand that it's okay not to be perfect. None of us are (Romans 3:23). And Jesus never asked that you change yourself to hit the standard of perfection. He takes you as you are, sinful, broken, hurt, messy and all. Don't believe me? In all of the Gospels, Jesus intentionally spent time with the lowly and the sinners. He hung out with tax collectors, adulterers, fishermen, and outcasts. He spent time with the less-than-perfect, and He loved them. He could have chosen the Pharisees and religious leaders, but He didn't. He chose the imperfect people, and He chooses you. Flaws and all.


"On hearing this, Jesus told them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" - Mark 2:17


"For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." - Matthew 9:13


Jesus does not care about what size you are. He doesn't care about how perfect your makeup is or how your hair looks. He's not judging every move you make, and He's definitely not rejecting you because you're not perfect. He's inviting you in, friend. Flaws and all.


In this struggle with perfection and striving for a standard we can never hit, I think comparison makes this struggle even harder. It is so easy to look around and think, "Wow, she really has it all together. Her outfit is on point, every hair is in place, and her waist is so snatched. She has a great boyfriend, so many friends, and she's always happy. I want that." What we don't remember is that there is no such thing as perfect. You don't know what she's struggling with on the inside, and you don't realize that she's probably comparing herself too.


And when we fix our attention on attaining perfection, I really believe we miss the whole point of life. God designed us to grow, evolve and go on this journey where we learn and change with Him. When our mindset becomes less of "I'm growing with God" and more of "I need to reach xyz unattainable goal" or "I need to become xyz unattainable vision" then we miss the joy of going on the journey with Jesus.


When we look at Scripture on this topic, instead of seeing God asking for our perfection or even best foot forward, here's what I see:

  1. God reminding us that He created us just as He desired and that we are His beautiful masterpiece.

  2. When God does command us to do something (ie: love others, rest on the Sabbath, restrain from sexual impurity), it's not Him trying to change who we are. It's Him trying to set us up for success and ultimately thriving.

If you are struggling with perfection, then I want to encourage you with a few verses.


"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." - Psalms 139:14


This verse can often be cliche and lose its power, so I did some digging on the Hebrew wording. (Beware, I nerded out a bit.) The Hebrew word for "fearfully" is "yare", which means "cause of astonishment and awe of Yahweh Himself". You are a cause for astonishment, and God Himself is in awe of you. But that's not all. The Hebrew word for "wonderfully" is "palah", which means "separate" or "distinct". God created us to be unique, seperate from the crowd. We aren't made to fit in, but be distinctly ourselves.


"You are all together beautiful, my darling, there is no flaw in you. - Songs of Songs 4:7


When we read this verse, we usually think that it's about a man speaking this to the love of his life. But I believe that this verse is also God speaking to us. God sees us as beautiful, sweet girl. He sees you as beautiful. Notice that He said "all together beautiful". Not just the "presentable" parts of you, not just the parts you like, but all of you. And although he knows that we struggle with sin, He still sees us as pure and whole through the blood of Jesus.


"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10

The NLT version of this verse says that we are God's masterpiece. Our God is an artist, and He has perfectly hand-crafted every part of you. He designed your personality, your body, your quirks and unique features. He made you intentionally, dear friend, and our God does not make mistakes.


Have you heard the illustration that represents this truth? It goes something like this: You worked so hard on a painting; you spent day and night picking out the perfect colors and making every intricate detail just the way you want it. It's beautiful, really. You decide to give it to your best friend, and you're just so proud of this spectacular piece of art. But once you hand it to her, and she unwraps it, her face drops in disappointment. She nitpicks every detail and criticizes the entire painting. She doesn't see the beauty and the heart in what you created, and you're devastated.


This is God's heart towards us. He's given us a beautiful body, a beautiful personality, a beautiful life, but we often choose to criticize and complain instead of cherish this gift He's so generously blessed us with. He handcrafted you and I, and it breaks His heart when we critique His creation.

 

So, to the girl who's trying to reach perfection: you don't need to try any longer. Lay down this burden before the Lord, and open your heart to believing what He's said about you in Scripture. Please know that you are not alone, and that you are precious and loved just as you are.


PS: I would highly encourage you to check out this song "perfection" by Switch. In my hardest moments struggling with perfection, this song beautifully spoke to me what God thinks about me.

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