Growing up, I went to church weekly and even attended Catholic school for 12 years, so I knew a lot about God, rules, being good, and doing the right thing. But striving so hard to be good puts a premium on perfectionism. It also led to a lot of guilt when less than perfect, judging the performance of myself and others, and trying to control all things, which is just not possible! Working for that “Junior Holy Spirit” badge and my “crown for doing good works” put me under a lot of stress and joy disappeared from my life. Finally, a friend said I needed a relationship with Jesus, not just keeping the rules. I had to really explore that through Bible Studies, books on Christian Living, radio teachings, and finally go thru a situation that brought me to my knees, as I knew it was beyond my control.
I recognized how pride and perfectionism were keeping me from a relationship with Jesus, and prayed for forgiveness. Since then, my life is full of more peace and joy. I’m not as stressed, more accepting of people and situations, and when the Lord reminds me I’m letting go of Him and hanging onto “the right thing to do” I Thank Him for His patience and His mercy. I thank Him for reminding me that He took my failings and the failings of other upon Himself at the cross already so my life can be about not the good works I do, but how well I love and accept others. He’s still walking with me, and when I fail, it’s His arms that I fall into.