I’m a follower of Christ which means that I’m seeking perfection. Which ya know, has felt pretty gosh darn INTIMIDATING sometimes haha because I mess up a lot and I say things I don’t mean and sometimes I make the same mistake over and over and over and over and over again. So I’m out here trying and struggling sometimes to think and act and be like my Savior, and Matthew 5:48 smacks me in the face “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
Now with this expectation that I’ve needed to be perfect, I’ve often resorted to self criticism and emotional self abuse to try to force myself to be perfect.
I find myself saying, “If I would just try HARDER to be like Him…I could do it!!”
But something I’ve learned over the past 16 months of my life is that if you’re trying to be like Jesus, and beating yourself up in order to do it, you’re doing the exact OPPOSITE thing of what He would do. We don’t change when we feel judged. We don’t improve when we feel ashamed. We don’t become Christlike through criticism. The only way for us to become like Jesus is to trust Him to help us do it.
He knows you’re trying. He isn’t surprised by your weaknesses. He will meet you where you are and magnify your every effort. We just have to let Him in!!
That being said, I was being hard on myself when I got to the end of the week and felt like we didn’t have “success”. First off, what is “success” anyways? But actually when we sat down to report to our ward leaders everything we did this week, I was blown away at everything we did accomplish.
We visited so many less active members and helped them to start reading Come Follow Me. Half the time we had their Ministering Sister come with us. The Spirit that was present as we all shared how we came to have a testimony of the Book of Mormon was incredible. And while these members don’t feel quite ready to come back yet, they’ve started reading the Book of Mormon again regularly. Some for the first time in 20 years. That’s amazing!
We also taught the Jiang family the Plan of Salvation. They all came to church and the ward really reaches out to them and makes sure they don’t feel out of place. That’s amazing!
By nothing other than God’s divine intervention we found the perfect General Conference talk to send to one of our friends who’s been meeting with missionaries for forever. We finished reading with her and she began to cry as she finally recognized what the feeling of the Spirit and God’s love is to her. She also said she now knows what she needs to be doing to start gaining a testimony. That’s amazing!
We also met a cool mother at English group this week who is interested in learning more about the Gospel. That’s amazing!
There’s so much more that I won’t include, but the miracles we saw were endless. And sure, it wasn’t a perfect week, but I think the fact that I felt the Spirit and that I grew closer to Christ is success enough for me.
If anyone else out there is struggling with this perfectionism thing, take a look at some of my favorite talks and resources:
– “Satan’s Counterfeit Gospel of Perfectionism”, Meridian Magazine, June 1, 2016, ldsmag.com
– “It Isn’t a Sin to Be Weak”
– “Be Ye Therefore Perfect…Eventually” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2017/10/be-ye-therefore-perfect-eventually?lang=eng
I hope you all have a great week!
I love you all so so so much!!!