Progress Over Perfection
Now we have talked about what it means to embrace the mess of the journey of growth , and identified some indicators we are on the right path now it’s time to dive into something that I personally am still growing in. I want to share with you where I have found some freedom...
Keeping progress, not perfection, the focus of the journey of growth.
Like me, this may be difficult for you because you come from a performance based background. My family was great and loving, yet the expectation was always that we performed at a high level, which I took to mean my value was based on how close to perfect I could get. That belief I believe trapped me in a lot of insecurity for most of my youth and young adult life.
Over the last 10 years as I have come back to my relationship with Jesus, I see how unhealthy this mindset is. My creator and Heavenly Father, is the one and only true source of my value. Which means nothing I do can add to or subtract from that. I am built to fulfill a very specific calling (having eternal value is no excuse not to properly steward the moment), but it disconnects my performance from my identity. The same is true for you.
When it comes to keeping our focus on progress not perfection there are a few revelations that have made the most impact for me.
God is about your heart, not your list of accomplishments. The state of your soul is far more important than the amount of titles and trophies you collect.
God is not judging you for your past. He paid to set you free from it therefore it no longer is yours but belongs to him. He put that part of you to death with Jesus on the cross.
As our Father, God is about us growing into our full potential, which as a human will be imperfect, but He loves the imperfections for His strengths work best in the spaces where we are the most weak.
There is so much I could go into these revelations, but that would be a post for each. What I want you to take away from these revelations that the way you focus on progress not perfection comes from getting clear on your identity.
The best way to do that is get close to the one who formed and designed you… Our Heavenly Father. If you get close to him, not only does your focus fall away from your imperfection, but it falls on His perfection. As a result, in the beauty of developing intimacy with Him we become more and more like Him resulting in progress. On this side of heaven we will never reach perfection but we will do some great works. God set them out specifically for us to do WITH HIM! How great is that? All striving for perfection does is consume our minds and mental real estate with thoughts that are self defeating, draining, and shaming. When we shift our focus onto Jesus the weight of performance slips away. Yes that sounds too simple to be true, but from my own experience I can say it is absolutely true.
The battle comes in changing the direction of our dominant thoughts. Off what and how we are performing onto Him and learning more and more about His heart of love. For when we operate in love, we never fail. Our response to this kind of love drives us into a life blessed with favor and His power at work, not our own strength. What a weight off!