Friday, April 24, 2015

Perfectionism, Laziness & The Trigger

I found a quote from the author, Hugh MacLeod - "The best way to get approval is not to need it."

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me. Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.  -- Psalm 25: 1-3

Do not let us be put to shame as we wait for you, Lord.  If we're missing you and what you want to do for us and through us, bring teaching and revelation in our lives to give us direction and inspiration.  

Saturday morning, Kris Vallotton posted on Facebook.  He wrote about laziness.

If this post offends you, I would remind yourself that I am quoting the Scriptures and maybe your offense is conviction. . . .  Jesus said work is the catalyst to city transformation. He said, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)"  Here is what Solomon said about lazy people; "He who is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys." (Proverbs 18:9)  "Laziness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle man will suffer hunger."(Proverbs 19:15)  In fact the Bible warns us about lazy "believers" who refuse to earn a living for their families. It says, "If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8) 

My father accused me of being lazy when I was a kid, and he'd put me to work.  He'd come into the house when I was a kid and demanded I stop playing and come outside and help him with some house project or yard work.  His demanding was always done with anger and condemnation.  In affect, stop being a kid and get out here.  Stop being lazy.  

I remember the accusations and being told what to do in a gruff, frustrated tone.  I then got lost in the work in order to numb the humiliation and shame.  The accusations and hurrying to get to work with my angry father is what I hated.  I told April about these memories arising in me after reading Kris' post.  She reminded me the Lord doesn't accuse.  

We went to worship at Word Alive Sunday.  Kent preached on necessary actions are to accompany faith.  Armchair faith won't get it done after you've prayed and declared what you've believed.  There must be corresponding action.  With 2 Kings 3: 16-21 a biblical reference, he said, "Expect - so, dig a ditch."  And, "Holy Spirit is the helper, not the doer."  So much of what he said or alluded to sounded like Kris - Stop being lazy.  Its so curious to me we've had to counter these things we've heard from people we respect and love.

During the message, April heard in her spirit, "Proverbs 6: 6."  She looked it up.  "Go to the ant, you lazybones; consider its ways and be wise."  She thought to herself, "What?"  We kept speaking to each other on our way home that we're not lazy and slackers.  

During worship, I checked my spirit and thought, "I've been writing.  The Lord told me to write.  What I write will inspire generations to worship.  Regardless, if I have four readers or not, I'm doing what I'm called to do."

I can't be perfect in what I do and what comes out of my work, or, even, how I live my spiritual life. Maybe this is what discourages me.  Perfectionism is a myth, and it can't be resolved through hard work.

The next morning, April said why didn't we hear what Kent said Sunday and celebrated because we're exactly where we ought to be because we believed and acted all along the way.  We didn't react that way.  We felt shame because we felt we were doing little, if anything, right now.  We agreed our reaction was evidence we were under attack.  Christian friends were not our adversaries.  The enemy is putting the screws to us.

I told April later I was angry with myself for not seeing the change in my work schedule on Sunday sooner. I clocked in at work on Sunday afternoon at 4 instead of 3.  They changed my schedule to a 3 to 9 shift. Days earlier, my shift that day was to start an hour later.  I realized the change the next day.  My perfection gene arose with anger. I was disturbed with myself. I somehow should have known better.  

This made me feel imperfect when keeping track of my schedule is my responsibility - "stop playing and be perfect, stop writing and be perfect, stop praying and worshiping and be perfect.  You ought to do more, and, thereby receive acceptance and love and appreciation by what you accomplish."

April said that was the trigger that made me feel ashamed.  She then said to me to go to that time of pain with my father.  Jesus was there with me those days when I felt ashamed for playing and not working with Dad.  What would Jesus have said to me those days?  I went to that time and place in my spirit.  It made me cry because Jesus would have accepted and loved me.  He wouldn't shame me.  His love for me was greater than the shame I felt.

As I drove to work that afternoon, I found Need To Breathe's song, Something Beautiful on my You Tube channel. I played it and cried again.  Alleluia.

The next day at work, I went out to the parking lot to assist Charles and his wife with a bag of potting soil.  I walked with them to their car.  He told me he'd lost strength because of cancer treatment.  I lifted the potting soil into the back of their van.  I then turned to Charles, told him my name and asked him his and asked if I could pray for him.  He said yes.  I prayed over him the Lord's best and complete healing.  He and his wife thanked me.

Later on, a co-worker asked me to assist a woman and her daughter with groceries.  I followed them to their car.  The mother's hair was growing back from falling out recently.  My co-worker had said to me in a whisper the mother had cancer.  As I followed them, she said her and her daughter go out of the house intentionally when she has tough days.  As we made it to the car and opened the rear hatch, I saw a Celebrate Recovery Bible.  That was my open door, the trigger that encouraged me to reach out.  After Anita put her daughter in her car seat and closed the hatch, I asked if I could pray for her.  She agreed, and I felt compassion come.  I prayed and stumbled over some words because of the Lord's compassion for her over me.  When I finished, she thanked me and paused with an expression of emotion that caught her by surprise.  I said, "Yeah, I felt that, too."

I may not be perfect, but I'm not lazy.

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