Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Pitfall Of Perfectionism
The Gospel Coalition ^ | 2 June 11 | Tullian Tchividjian

Posted on 06/05/2011 4:09:34 PM PDT by Gamecock

I recently read this from Steve Brown and had to share it with you:

She was only twenty-six years old. She was a Christian working in a church. After college she had served for a year on the mission field. I didn’t know her well, but I liked her a lot. She was a strong witness for Christ and she was an articulate spokesperson for evangelical Christianity. This morning I got the message that she had taken her life. I was absolutely devastated. I didn’t understand.

As if that were not enough, shortly after hearing about her suicide I got a call from a man who listens to my radio broadcast. “Steve,” he said, “I haven’t told anybody in the world what I’m going to tell you. I have decided to leave my wife and I told God that if I get through to you, I would do whatever you told me to do.”

I asked him what prompted him to decide to leave her.

He told me, “I became a Christian at fourteen and all my life I’ve been seeking to live up to the expectations of others. I work full-time in a ministry, I teach the Bible, and everyone thinks I’m the model Christian. I’m just tired of it. I’ve decided to do something for myself for a change.”

Let me share a letter with you that I received a couple weeks ago. There was no return address and the person gave me no name.

Dear Stephen,

Please pray for me as I am on the edge–a total failure as a Christian. I have failed as a husband and as a father. God has probably given up on me. I feel so very alone and abandoned. It’s a horrible feeling that words alone cannot describe. Please don’t judge me. Pray for me.

At first these three incidents didn’t seem related. They were just about individuals for whom I prayed. But in the silence of my prayer it dawned on me that they all had the same problem: They all had created a false standard of perfection (or accepted someone else’s standard) and concluded they couldn’t live up to it.

What advice would you give them? If you had talked to the young lady before her suicide, or the man thinking about leaving his wife, or the anonymous correspondent–what would you have said?

Most Christians would say that they should try harder. The problem is that all three already had–and they were at the end of themselves.

Others would try to help them trace their despair back to some unconfessed sin in their lives–drawing a straight line between their spiritual depression and their spiritual failure.

And still others would tell them to have faith. And yet, they discovered that the faith they needed couldn’t be turned on and off like a faucet.

But what would Jesus have told them? We don’t have to guess: “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy 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).

Perfectionism (or performancism) is a horrible disease. It comes from the pit of hell, smelling like rotting flesh. Someone convinced these folks that they were called to measure up to an unattainable standard. They couldn’t do it and each in his or her own way simply quit trying.

Nobody told them that Jesus was perfect for them, and because of that they didn’t have to be perfect for themselves. They didn’t understand that if Jesus makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Christian, please remember that Jesus plus nothing equals everything. That,

Because Jesus was strong for you, you’re free to be weak;

Because Jesus won for you, you’re free to lose;

Because Jesus was Someone, you’re free to be no one;

Because Jesus was extraordinary, you’re free to be ordinary;

Because Jesus succeeded for you, you’re free to fail.

Preaching the gospel is the only thing that helps us take our eyes off ourselves and how we’re doing and fix our eyes on Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith. Jesus fulfilled all of God’s perfect conditions so that our relationship to God could be perfectly unconditional.

You’re free!


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: gospel; perfection
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-46 next last

1 posted on 06/05/2011 4:09:41 PM PDT by Gamecock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: drstevej; OrthodoxPresbyterian; CCWoody; Wrigley; Gamecock; Jean Chauvin; jboot; AZhardliner; ...

2 posted on 06/05/2011 4:11:56 PM PDT by Gamecock (It's not eat drink and be merry because tommow we die, but rather because yesterday we were dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

I needed to read this.

Thank you for posting it.


3 posted on 06/05/2011 4:13:22 PM PDT by adm5 (AMERICA HAS ONLY GOD AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT LEFT TO SAVE THE REPUBLIC. by: LibLieSlayer 3/18/10)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: greyfoxx39; Colofornian

Actually, some cults have high levels of depression, probably for the very same reason outlined above.


4 posted on 06/05/2011 4:13:29 PM PDT by Gamecock (It's not eat drink and be merry because tommow we die, but rather because yesterday we were dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian; Elsie; FastCoyote; svcw; Zakeet; SkyPilot; rightazrain; Tennessee Nana; ...

Ping.


5 posted on 06/05/2011 4:17:21 PM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Why do people try to "out-nice" Jesus?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Just excellent!


6 posted on 06/05/2011 4:18:53 PM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Why do people try to "out-nice" Jesus?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Thanks


7 posted on 06/05/2011 4:20:25 PM PDT by svcw (Non forgiveness is like holding a hot coal thinking the other person will be blistered)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
Most Christians would say that they should try harder

I hope this is not true. It would make Christians sound like mindless idiots.

8 posted on 06/05/2011 4:21:21 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

AGYG <——lives in freedom...and without fear, for I know in Whom I have believed.

It’s also important to remember that our Heavenly Father told us there’d be days like this. (I Tim 4:1; Matt. 24:10)


9 posted on 06/05/2011 4:23:59 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

So sorry, Gc. I’ve known some who want to be w/G*d. I can’t judge. All I can do is pray. Godspeed.


10 posted on 06/05/2011 4:36:31 PM PDT by Silentgypsy (You know if I don’t remember I’m gonna forget.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock; left that other site; Vision; Kitty Mittens; jackv; Outlaw Woman; Hiskid; ...

Such a beautiful and inspiring message! Thank you!


11 posted on 06/05/2011 4:41:37 PM PDT by Silentgypsy (You know if I don’t remember I’m gonna forget.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

TYFP (Thank You For Posting)


12 posted on 06/05/2011 4:42:30 PM PDT by Valpal1 ("No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelet." ~ C.S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

This is an excellent piece. Thanks for posting.


13 posted on 06/05/2011 4:43:35 PM PDT by Albion Wilde (Thank you, Dubya and U.S. military. You did not falter. You did not fail.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Silentgypsy; Gamecock

Beautiful article.

Thanks for the ping Silentgypsy.


14 posted on 06/05/2011 4:56:35 PM PDT by AZamericonnie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Thank you so much for posting this. I really, really needed this today.


15 posted on 06/05/2011 5:06:12 PM PDT by WaldenPond (No Taxation Without Representation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Thank you so much for posting this. I really, really needed this today.


16 posted on 06/05/2011 5:06:20 PM PDT by WaldenPond (No Taxation Without Representation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Thank you so much for posting this. I really, really needed this today.


17 posted on 06/05/2011 5:06:24 PM PDT by WaldenPond (No Taxation Without Representation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

This is excellent. I love Steve Brown anyway.


18 posted on 06/05/2011 5:24:46 PM PDT by Paved Paradise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Jesus came to save sinners. When someone called Him “good master” he scolded them, saying, “No one is good except the Father.” Any Christian who tries to be good is doing Satan’s work.
The fruit of the spirit flows from being reborn as a child of Christ. Sin is always with us. We can not avoid it. We can, however, be forgiven for our sin.
The burden is lifted from us not because we deserve salvation but specifically because we acknowledge we do not deserve the Lord’s mercy. It is in the humility of acknowledging that we can do nothing to save ourselves that Christ is able to give us a new heart and a new mind.
Even after salvation we do not need to prove anything. We belong to Christ. That is enough. He continues to forgive us our sinful state. The practice of sin cannot be removed because we remain creatures of the earth.
Our spirit, however, is lifted up and the burden of sin is removed. We are made, in Him, free at last, free at last. Thank God in Heaven we are free at last.


19 posted on 06/05/2011 5:30:05 PM PDT by Louis Foxwell (For love of Sarah, our country and the American Way of Life.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Silentgypsy

Thanks for the Ping, SG.


20 posted on 06/05/2011 5:50:46 PM PDT by left that other site
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-46 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson