Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Behind Those Eyes - Ch 2 - Ms. Perfection

(Quotes by Lisa Whittle in Green)

The great Sunday Morning Fake Out...do I know anyone who attends worship services regularly that has NOT experienced something almost just like this? I don't think so. There is a song by Casting Crowns, Stained Glass Masquerade, that addresses this same issue. The song ministered to me when I first heard it, still does now, and this story and chapter, hit it exactly. However, I realize that it is really not what I long for-no masquerading for me. Not that I always want to be frazzled and imperfect like I sometimes am, but I do want to be real.

So, what is it that makes us want others to see us as "perfect"? Why does it matter?

In my life, I have noticed that I have fooled myself into believing that if I am less than perfect, that might mean that I am failing. Whether it be at marriage, parenthood, housecleaning, weight, whatever...if I am not doing it "right", then I must be doing it "wrong". Then, adding to that pressure, there have been times that "not my best" AKA "NOT perfect" has had the consequences that I fear the most...rejection. Sometimes, we might run across people in our lives who have not loved us unconditionally. They may have ridiculed us, talked negatively behind our backs, or the very worst (in my opinion)- lead us to believe they would love us no matter what and then walk out of our lives over some mistake. Wow. The hurt of someone that you loved and trusted to eliminate you from their lives because you have erred or sinned is painful. Won't we try to protect ourselves from that kind of hurt? Doesn't our silly, human mind (and Satan?) somehow convince us if we pretend to be perfect, than we won't get hurt? People will like us...they will want to be around us?

Look at the description of "The Perfect Package":

"the woman who knows it all, sees it all, does it all, whips it up for dinner, and sells it for a profit. (You know, she's the one you and I are intimidated and annoyed by.) She dressed impeccably, has money to burn, and sews her own curtains. But she calls them window treatments since she knows the importance of semantics. She manages her household, stays in touch with her friends, organized neighborhood get-togethers, and doesn't break a sweat. She returns phone calls promptly, decorates her home professionally, and never misses her boss's birthday. She is overworked yet never stressed. She has a Colgate smile and a size 4 body. She fins time to scrapbook, run marathons, and serve on the town council. She is the personification of a perfect package."

Hasn't society convinced us that this is the type of women we should strive to be? So, if we can't do it, we are busy trying to act like we can, that we make ourselves crazy trying to please everyone except God.

The prayer at the end of the Bible Study guide is lovely and well worth some prayer time on my part.

Heavenly Father,
thank you for seeing us from the inside out. Thank you for desiring a relationship with your daughters that is based on love and grace rather than perfectionism. May we, throught your power, break free from the trap of trying to be perfect. May we replace our old efforts with newer, more spiritually minded ones. In Jesus' name. Amen
Absolutely, I want to be seen as real. It is too difficult to keep up with "The Perfect Package" and attempt to fool others (and myself) into thinking that I am perfect. I am not. But in Christ, I am Holy...that is enough. I have found out that if someone rejects me because of my imperfection, it will hurt, yes, but life goes on. God provides enough people in our lives to give us all we need and teaches us through the losses.
I want to be seen as real, not perfect.
Only God is perfect


Tammy R said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I have yet to understand why I turn the TV on or go to the movies. All I ever is what...I think I should be.

Love this study!

Jill said...

If we'd only put the energy into pleasing God rather than people. Others would be blessed and I'd be at peace.

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Thank-you for your heartfelt words. They are SO true, and some great food for thought.

I think if each of us are honest, we ALL struggle with trying to do it all...and be it all....yet how freeing is it, to please only our Father!!

Connie said...

You said what I've thought so many times. I agree with Jill, if we'd only put the energy into pleasing God rather than people. Connie

Laura said...

That description of the perfect package just gets me! You are so right when you say society has tricked us into believing we have to be all those things. I mean, my husband doesn't struggle with being all that...and more! Women are constantly bombarded with the message that we are not good enough. Getting real is long overdue!
Enjoyed reading your thoughts!

Carol said...

Liz, great post. I've fallen into the trying to be all that mode, and it's unachievable.

Yes keeping our focus on pleasing God and not people that is so important, that brings such peace.

Lelia Chealey said...

Uggh. Many many Sunday morning fakeouts my kids will remember. I'm praying God blocks those out of their memories. :)

Great post Liz. You are very genuine dear friend.

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

I think it's time to bury Ms. Perfection with all the negative comments and unacceptance we experience when we allow ourselves to be real!!
Now wouldn't that be an odd funeral?


In His Graces~Pamela

nothingcanseparateme said...


It's been a rough week and I am finally reading everyones thoughts on chapter 2.

That Ms. Perfection description really makes me mad!! Why do we allow the world to decide what is right and what is wrong? I am with you--we need to all get REAL!!

hope you are having a great weekend.


Lisa said...

Hang on until the end of the book. God has some things to say to you, and several of them relate to this post! Thank you for your honest feelings in this post. They are shared by so many, including me.

I prayed for you by name tonight!
Lisa :)