How Perfectionism Destroys Peace

ln this post, we’ll be exploring the ways perfectionism destroys peace. I love to plan and I’m really good at it!
Similarly, I plan meals
plan trips to the store.
I plan vacations
plan my days.
I plan things at church.

How Perfectionism Destroys Peace

I love to organize as well!
For instance, I organize the shelves in my pantry.
I organize the sheets (by size) in my closet.
Of course, all of my family’s clothes are organized!
I organize all of my school supplies.
Finally, all my books are organized.

My perfectionist habits have one major stumbling block:

People. (Ok, realistically it is mainly my children.)

As a mom, perfectionism is torture.

Having everything perfect is impossible with children. Any mom can tell you that. Whether you have one child or ten, perfectionism seems harder and harder to grasp. As we added each child, I felt control slipping slowly through my fingers.

My meals no longer included rare and different ingredients. Most of the time, four o’clock rolled around and you could see me staring into the fridge wondering what I could make with the sparse ingredients inside. My household chores were done haphazardly with no amount of routine. I did laundry almost every day. Sometimes, I had to rewash it several times because I would forget it in the washer. My floors looked like someone had crushed every type of cookie and sprinkled the floor with the crumbs. I went to bed late. Alternatively, I got up early. I felt tired and worn down. As a result, I was worried, anxious, and very irritable.
I decided to plan my way out of the craziness! For example, I got a three-ring binder. I filled it with recipes, organized by breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, I added fun, educational, and seasonally appropriate kid activities. I wrote out a very detailed cleaning plan to make sure my house was clean every week (Monday was laundry, Tuesday was floors, etc.)
A few weeks and months went by. I used the binder… the activities. We stuck to the routine. I made the meals that I had planned. My chores fell into a schedule. Yet, I still felt tired. I felt even more irritable and still felt peace was missing.

Finally, it occurred to me:

Control was never going to bring me peace.

A JJ Heller song helped to change my outlook: Control
Perfection has a price
But I cannot afford to live that life
It always ends the same; a fight I never win
Oh, control
It’s time, time to let you go…

Then, God began to speak to my heart. He said:
Philippians 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

How Perfectionism Destroys Peace

Being perfect and controlling everything around me was an illusion. Control was fight I would never win. Every time I swept, not even ten seconds later, a pile of crumbs from who-knows-where would appear! The clothes never stayed clean! My family needed three meals a day: everyday! For instance, no matter how many times I would wipe a mouth, it would still be caked with food as we walked out the door.

Peace is more than a feeling…it is a settled calm. I wanted that. I knew life was going to be crazy and messy. However, no one’s life is without complications.

In Judges 6:23, Gideon is afraid of the task God has called him to do. God sends the Angel of the Lord and says: “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” Judges 6:24 says, “So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it Jehovah-Shalom (The-LordIs-Peace).” Gideon trusted those words. He believed that God would protect Him. His heart was content with God and confident in His promises.

 We can have peace when we are content with God and confident in His promises.

 God has called all of us to do a task. For me, it is mothering. God tells me: “Peace is with you; do not fear.” In my heart, I need to build a little altar and allow God to be my Jehovah-Shalom. I need to be content with God’s promises and confident that He will keep His promises.
 Peace comes from knowing God. I have found great peace in resting in the assurance that I am not perfect and that is OK.  Peace is one of the Fruits of the Spirit. In fact, God’s Holy Spirit is there to provide peace – that settled calm. Furthermore, I have found peace in believing God will do what He says He will do and is who He says He is.
He is faithful.
He’s merciful.
He will save.
He’ll comfort.

 “It’s not my peace that holds me together… it’s God’s.”

Thankfully, I am learning to trust and rest in the fact that it isn’t my peace that holds me together. In fact, it is God’s peace. Jesus said in John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

To summarize, my life is still crazy. Firstly, my kids still scream over everything. Secondly, my house looks like a warehouse for broken toys and stacks of paper. Furthermore, my kitchen pantry is an explosion of opened cracker boxes and cans of cream of chicken soup. Please, do NOT look in my junk drawers (yes, that’s plural).

In conclusion, when perfectionism sometimes steals my peace, I must remember:

Sarah E. Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor. She is the wife of Jason and mother of five who all serve as full-time missionaries in Honduras. Her passion is to encourage women to fall in love with the Bible. Sarah is the author of several Bible study resources for women. She shares tools for deep-rooted Bible study.

Check out my SECRET TO PEACE free download below!

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