Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ms. Perfection. Ouch.

This is the second week of the online bible study, Yes to God; studying the book "Behind Those Eyes," by Lisa Whittle. If you are not yet doing the study, and want to join in, click here. Even so, if you have ever spent even a moment trying to be Ms. Perfection... read on....

Ms. Perfection........Yes. that was the name of chapter two.

C'mon Lisa. Have a little mercy. Did you have to put this one as chapter TWO, for crying out loud!!?! (or as my 3 year old would say, "For Pete." ....no idea where he would have gotten that sassy little expression... I am the perfect mother, after all.......). SO many things Lisa said gave me an "ouch" or an "ugh" or... trust me, you really ought to read it for yourself!!!

My husband uses this cute phrase: "I resemble that comment." (get it? a play on, 'I resent that comment'). Seems to me that we often resemble comments more than we should 'resent' them. (Comments like, "my, my. that was a bit snippy, snotty of her, wasn't it?") I resemble that comment.

If we are REAL and authentic... we would admit that the faults we see in others are usually the faults we see in ourselves.

Lord Jesus said it better,

"2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?"
- Matthew 7:2-4

yeah. ouch. again.

So, why Ms. Perfection?? WHY DO I WANT TO BE HER???? Because the truth is, (we are supposed to be getting real here, right?): I DO! I want to be her. I am trying to be her. I am spinning my wheels, right here: "The perfect package first needs to feel perfect in order for her to sell others on it. And it's become a full time job." You got that right, Lisa. And I have spent a lifetime perfecting the job...

Why????

sigh. this is a deep one.

yes. it goes wayyyyy back into my past. But I also allow it to reside with me today. and now, I must accept ownership of my own Ms. Perfection tendencies.

God is talking to me about this one, ladies. And He is saying it over and over and over....

2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you................. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you..............2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

I always understood this verse to mean this: when you judge others, then God will cast that same amount of judgement on you. and maybe so.

But the Holy Spirit convicted me of this, as I read Chapter 2, Ms. Perfection:

Why, exactly, do I want to be, do I strive to be, Ms. Perfection???

Could it be that I am so hard on other women, so yippy-yappy about how others are imperfect, so spiritual about others 'bad choices,' so comment-y about the mothering skills of others, so full of it....... that I actually live in bondage to my own judgements???? Could it be that 'in the same way I judge others, I assume others are judging me as harshly, and with the measure that I judge others, I must now live with the burden of thinking that others are thinking the very same thing about me...'

Let me say that again!

I must now live with the burden of thinking that others are thinking the very same judgemental garbage about me...........

no wonder I am trying to be perfect. I assume others are as judgemental as me.........

".......and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

14 friends had a thing or two to say...:

Christine Lynn said...

I like your bible study note here, and I am so glad you are sharing here! I just finished up the book called "The Shack," and he has a chapter on judgment that just pierced my heart and really gave me a new view on how God looks at us and how hard judgment really is for Him. He put the character in the throne and made him judge his three children and it was mind boggling how all of a sudden he now had to view the whole world as Gods children as God does. It finally brought this man to the point where Jesus ended up, coming here and dieing for his children. Your study here just brought this chapter to my mind again. Have a great day and thanks for sharing this. =O)

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

What a GREAT post.....and you've really struck a cord in my heart. I never really took the though far enough that perhaps I'm judging others..just like they are judging me! WOW.

This truly is an amazing Bible Study...really getting at the "heart" of the issues.

Thanks so much for being real!!!

Connie said...

Thank you for sharing. You have really made me think about judging and how it affects me too. Connie

Paula (SweetPea) said...

This is great, Darlene. I did not write my post in this direction of perfection towards judgement but I must admit I believe I too an very guilty of pre-judging others. I've been trying very hard. God has been convicting me of when I jump to conclusions and in my heart (never verbally) judge the actions or decisions of another. I try to instead rationale that he/she had a reason.

I also came over here to tell you that you really gave me an ahaa moment when you said on Lelia's blog that you're begining to believe perfection is an idol. I have never thought of that but how true. In the past year, I realized that worry is a sin because it can become an idol also. When we are constantly worrying, it becomes and idol and sin. When we are constantly striving for perfection, it does become an idol...the perfection becomes more important than pleasing God WITH our faults.

Oh, could your son be saying For Pete instead of "For Pete's Sake". I've said and heared that said (for Pete's sake) in the same context that you began your post...in the tone of "come on".

Blessings,
Paula

Tammy R said...

Love your thoughts!

It's hard not to judge others. There I times I've caught my thoughts in mid-air and say to myself...your not judging,are you?

Cindy said...

Your comments are so true. I recently did a post about being judgemental.

Thank you for sharing your heart and true feelings regarding your attempts to be Ms Perfection!

Laura said...

"Could it be that I am so hard on other women, so yippy-yappy about how others are imperfect, so spiritual about others 'bad choices,' so comment-y about the mothering skills of others, so full of it....... that I actually live in bondage to my own judgements????"

Ouch!! This really struck a chord with me! I think you are onto something. I've always had this fear of being judged harshly...am I? You have made me think today...

Paula said...

Wow, what a great twist on the whole perfection lie! I have experienced first hand the negativity a judgemental person can dish out. It came in the form of someone who I thought was a good friend, until crunch time that is, when she told me she wouldn't be "as accessible" as before. Go figure...judgement AND terms on a friendship! She gave off, and still gives off, the impression that she has is all down; that she is perfect, or at least striving to be. Job, house, appearance, car, and so on, but deep, and I mean DEEP inside, she is just striving to fill her "God hole" (my sweetie coined that phrase and I love it!) with perfection from possessions.

We need to cast off what others may think of us, and stop our minds from guessing what they might be thinking, otherwise we will be held captive to it...always. God's opinion is all that matters. As long as we stay holy in His eyes, then that is all that matters. These people may not even be thinking these thoughts; it's usually just our own disappointment with ourselves (our want for perfection) that makes us think such crazy thoughts.

Perfection + human = negative life!
Imperfection + God = postive life!

We have the better deal out of those two equations.

Again, a great post! In Him, Paula :-)

Carol said...

"If we are REAL and authentic... we would admit that the faults we see in others are usually the faults we see in ourselves."

Okay ouch. I never looked at it like that, but it's true, I hate to admit it but it's true. I figure they must be judging them, because I know that I'm judging them, I just never really thought of it that way.

Thank you for letting God speak through you on this.

Carol

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Wow Darlene-you brought a different perspectine into this chapter for me. It has caused me to sit back and look at some of my own "failures" and realize how judgmental I had been on others in these same shoes before I wore them. Wow. I am humbled. I am convicted. Forgive me Lord....

In His Graces~Pamela

Wife to the Rockstar said...

Awesome post. This really spoke to me as I too try to be perfect.

Leebird said...

I could literally hear you ranting and raving about this touchy topic..great use of creative font changes! :)

I don't know about you, but I'm so sick and tired of worrying what other people think of me.

Getting real together, Lee

Regina said...

Could it be that I am so hard on other women, so yippy-yappy about how others are imperfect, so spiritual about others 'bad choices,' so comment-y about the mothering skills of others, so full of it....... that I actually live in bondage to my own judgements????

Ouch!! But thanks. The truth hurts but I know it's for my own good. I needed to hear that.

Lisa said...

Darlene,
Oh, I loved this post. First, you had me laughing out loud when I read the part about "Cmon Lisa, did you have to put Ms. Perfection in chapter 2?" I am still smiling, thinking about that. Because...well...I know what you mean. It's hard looking at her, isn't it? Chapter 2 or chapter 10. :)

I wish I could say the next three chapters would be easier. Really, the next 5. But I promise, if you will stick with it and read to chapter 8, you will find that relief you are looking for. But the hard work for all of us comes first. After we've done that, we will be ready for the message in the last section of the book.

Loved the authenticity in this post. Very well said.

I prayed for you by name tonight!
Lisa :)