So now we move on to the antidote to the perfection infection. Pride, fear, insecurity, and judging keep us infected. Send in the replacements!
Pride is "cleverly costumed" in our lives - because it LOOKS like confidence. However, it is self-centered, self-focused, self-preserving. Jesus wants us to die to self. So replace pride with humility. The Latin humilitas means grounded or low. Grounded means one is not easily swayed. A grounded person isn't looking for recognition because she is at peace with her worth in the eyes of God.
Replace fear with courage. FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real. This is one I struggle with: I'm afraid of what people will think, I worry others will judge me, I fear rejection. Courageous women are still fearful; they just don't allow fear to stop them. Courage comes from knowing God is with me - to the very end of the age. He is my strength and salvation; of whom can I possibly be afraid? He loves me unconditionally. Because of that, I can love myself and others the same way.
Insecurity happens when the voices tell us we aren't enough. This is another of my challenge areas. The negative soundtrack that plays in my head keeps me feeling "less than". Less than others. Less than my best self. It paralyzes me from living out any potential; because I tell myself "I can't do it right, so I'd best not start". This statement can apply to anything from beginning a ministry at church to cleaning the toilet. As Jill says in her book, "Perfectionism is the best friend to procrastination." (I'm blogging instead of washing the breakfast dishes...and last night's supper dishes!) SO...replace insecurity with confidence. True confidence is really God-confidence. It's not necessarily believing in myself, but believing in what God can do through me. Even the dishes.
Replace judging with grace. We more often criticize others (even if only in our minds) than we give them the benefit of the doubt. Judgement is so divisive, demanding, ugly. It's very prideful and keeps us blinded to our own shortcomings. Grace is granting mercy; allowing someone else to make human errors without harsh critique.
Unrealistic expectations keep us from enjoying the real here-and-now lives we have. Simply change them, don't lower them. Replace them with realistic expectations. Humility, courage, confidence, and grace will help us be more realistic.