Today's guest Anne Garboczi is doing an Ebook giveaway of her book "What's a Foster Family" picture book. To enter this draw, leave a comment below, share this blog on social media, and spell your email address out in your comment. I will draw the winning name on the Sunday after this blog posting. TWEET THIS
By Anne Garboczi
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a perfectionist. Need a banana bread for that church potluck? I might only be in 4th grade, but I’ll bake you ten.
Perfectionists take hope TWEET THIS
Perfectionists take hope TWEET THIS
What’s the highest score one can earn on the SAT? Three years of studying, and boom, I just got that perfect score.
You say you offer a three years Master’s program? Watch me do that in eighteen months months. 4.0? Oh yeah!
But my perfectionism doesn’t just drive victories.
How could you wear those clothes? So not modest, teenage girl. If you cause a man to stumble, it’s your fault.
Never had a boyfriend, what do you mean? Never even been on a date? You’re twenty-years-old.
Married now and you don’t cook your husband dinner every night?
You’re a lousy wife. And complaining when he deployed for a year? Unsupportive military spouse.
What do you mean you didn’t exercise and eat lean meat and whole grains every day of pregnancy? Dry-heaving multiple times a hour is no excuse. It’s probably your fault your baby ended up in NICU.
How do you think you can be a mom when you’re working part-time? Don’t you know that kids need your full attention?
Growing up, I didn’t know what to say when the questions and the doubts bombarded me. Judgment, judgment everywhere, not just from those around me, but from my own brain too. God said, “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Pet 1:16). He even came to earth to die, a miserably torturous death no less, to make me holy. And look at what an unholy wreck I am?
Failure, complete failure. Ever think God might give up on us someday? Seems like a pretty logical step to take.
Then one day, I read Galatians. Do you know what an amazing book that is? I’ve been reading the Bible since I was five, and yet, at age twenty-seven, Galatians astounded me.
The Galatians were of Celtic origin and they seemed like pretty clean-cut folks. Not like those Corinthians, who thought bringing sex orgies into the Christian worship service would be a good idea.
Yeah, no way that could go wrong. Write them a letter already, Apostle Paul.
But in Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he gets really angry at the Galatians. More angry even than at those sex-crazed Corinthian reprobates. The Galatians had gladly accepted the gospel. But then some Jewish Christians came along and started picking on the Galatians for their eating habits.
“Eating pig meat, really?” Back in the day, that stuff could kill you, by the way. Not to mention that it’s against Jewish law!
“Circumcision, come on Galatians, we’ve got some male infants and a knife. You know God will love you more if you do this.”
Maybe the Galatians also started to pray a certain amount of times a day, or nail up scrolls to their doorways like Jewish followers of the Torah. What’s so wrong about that?
Apparently a lot. Because Paul let loose on those Galatians. “You think you can please God by your works? You can’t. And the minute you start thinking you can make one jot of difference with your best efforts, suddenly you’re discounting everything Christ did for you. You’re saved by grace, so you can have a friendship with God. And don’t you ever forget that.”
Hmm, guess I won’t make a read-through the Bible in a month checklist or give up dancing so I can be truly holy. It’s just God and me, and His love pouring through every vein and capillary, organ and cell, thought and neuron signal.
So judge away perfectionist brain. I’m redeemed. TWEET THIS
ANNE GARBOCZI EVANS is a mental health counselor, military spouse, author, and mama to an opinionated little preschooler named "Joe-Joe."
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