By: Marissa Hochstedler
I am easily drawn to perfect things, whether it be a beautiful sunrise in the early morning, a delicious piece of coffee cake or a soul-deep conversation with a friend. I love to sit back and think “that was perfect and exactly what my heart needed.”
However, with being drawn to perfect things, I can easily fall into the temptation of striving for a perfect life. I can sit back and think “Am I performing perfectly in my job? Am I loving others perfectly? Are the words that I write put together in the most perfect way possible?”
Striving for perfection in a worldly sense can be dangerous, as it will always leave one feeling empty and unfulfilled. Because “being a perfect human” is not possible to achieve. Romans 3:23 states that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I fall short of perfection every single day, and it is an impossible goal to strive toward.
I have found that I can also bring this perfectionistic attitude into my quiet time, in thinking that I have to have everything just right in order for me to connect with God. But this is so false! And I have found that “having everything perfect” can be a trap that actually keeps me from connecting with our perfect God, as it can easily become a distraction.
I once saw a quote on social media and it said “less perfection and more connection.” The quote resonated with me in a deep way, causing me to consider: am I striving to have a perfect life, and be perfect myself, or am I striving to deeply know and connect with my perfect Savior, Jesus?
If you too struggle with having a perfectionist mindset, we must remember that the only perfect being is Jesus Himself. God in the form of man came down from the throne of heaven, lived a sinless life, dying in my imperfect place so that I would know him.
When I go to spend quiet moments with Jesus, I do not have to “have it all together” and have everything in my life figured out. I love how Jesus extends the invitation to his people in far from perfect moments. Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.”
Jesus does not say to come to him when I have all of my plans worked out, he says to come, in the middle of the mess, and cast my burden onto him. What does he give me in exchange? Rest in Himself.
Connection with God in our quiet time allows us to rest in the perfection that matters: the perfect love of Jesus. When going to connect with God, we must unplug from the world and plug into God’s grace and glory, meditating and reflecting on Who He is!
Practical things that have helped me lay down my perfectionistic attitude in my quiet time:
- Remembering that God gives me grace in my weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15-16)
- Remembering that only God can satisfy my soul (John 4:13-15)
- Remembering that God loves me and sent his Son to die in my place (John 3:16)
Striving for perfection in ourselves, or in the structure of our quiet time, is a goal that will never be maintained. The only perfect being is Jesus.
May we be women that cling to the perfection of Jesus and the gospel and lay down our own sinful nature of finding perfection in anything but God Himself.
May we be women that understand that we do not have to have it all together in order to come and connect with Jesus.
May we be women that do not strive to be perfect in ourselves, but desire more connection to our perfect God and the people He has blessed us with in our lives.
Marissa was born and raised in small town Indiana and has grown to love living between cornfields and down country back roads. Marissa gave her life to Jesus while she was in college and has walked with Him ever since. Marissa is newly married to her husband, Cameron, and enjoys baking homemade bread, reading books and drinking coffee. Marissa has a heart for spreading the good news of Jesus through writing.