When I moved and found out that Holley Gerth lived in a neighboring city, I sent an email. Then a Facebook message. Then I left a comment on her blog.
I was waving wildly, letting this beautiful Word girl know that I wanted to meet her. We finally met in a little smoothie cafe and she became a good friend. I remain a huge fan of Holley as a writer, but the more that I got to know Holley, I became a bigger fan of her as a person.
In her new book, You’re Loved No Matter What, she reminds us we can be loved, accepted, happy, and less stressed without being perfect.
Thanks for joining Holley and me around the table today.
If You Try to Be Perfect, We’ll Miss Out On Who You Really Are
by Holley Gerth
Sweet girl, the world only gets one you.
There has never been and will never be another woman who walks the earth with your strengths, gifts, and talents. You are a poem of God, a work of art, an original and not a copy. When you try to be perfect, it’s always an attempt to live up to someone else’s standards. And every time you do, a part of the image of God in you gets hidden.
Listen to me: have the courage to be who you are.
Yes, messy, mixed-up, in-progress you. It doesn’t feel like it, but being who God created you to be is the best way to change the world. We don’t get another chance to receive what you have to give. It either comes through you or not at all.
An imperfect you is far better than you being someone else’s idea of perfect.
You are not under law but under grace. Jesus paid a high price to give you that freedom. He doesn’t want you to go back to living under the law. He wants more for your life than an endless to-do list and rules. He knows those will only crush your heart and take away the joy of your relationship with him.
In modern days, living “under the law” means trying to meet any set of standards in order to gain approval. They might come from your church, boss, or mother-in-law. But whatever the source, those requirements are not from Jesus.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1).
Years back I practiced and prepared for weeks leading up to a conference. I wanted my presentation to go just right.
Yet that morning it seemed God whispered, “Even if it doesn’t, I can still use you.”
So when I had all kinds of technical trouble in the middle that even the IT department couldn’t figure out, I said to the audience, “I’m glad this happened because this is how life goes. And it’s okay. We just keep going anyway.”
I got more comments about how that helped people than any other part of what I did.
When we can embrace imperfection in life and ourselves, it makes those around us breathe a sigh of relief.
We are all insecure, and we’re all trying harder than we need to be. Be the courageous one who says, “I don’t have it all together.
The research is clear: perfectionism puts us more at risk for depression and anxiety. I know those have all kinds of causes, including physical ones, and I’m not denying or dismissing those. I just believe it’s important to recognize that when we pursue perfection, we make ourselves more vulnerable to difficult emotions.
Life is hard enough without our unrealistic expectations being added it to it. You can pursue excellence, enjoy your life, and receive the blessings God has for you.
He wants you to thrive.
Jesus is the “perfecter” of our faith (Heb. 12:2). He’s the one who will make us more and more like him over time.
When we try to make ourselves perfect on our own, we interfere with that process. We can let go and simply focus on staying close to Jesus and falling more in love with him each day.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
You have a choice to make: will you be led by fear or by love?
You can’t be led by both.
Yes, you will always struggle with fear in some ways, but you can decide now that it will not control you. God’s love can drive out the fear in your life.
I know, friend, how hard it is to live under the burden of feeling like you need to be perfect.
I’ve been there, and that’s why I’m asking you with all my heart to believe you really are loved no matter what.
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We read every comment. We pray for many. And this girl loves nothing more than hearing what you have to say.