Read: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
So you recognize in yourself that, like many others, you’ve fallen into the performance trap. And, your desire is to use your self awareness to fuel a change in your perspective and your walk of faith. But then it happens - something goes wrong, and you fail. How do you react? Do you tense up in fear, worried that you’ll fall right back into the performance trap? Letting go of the performance trap doesn’t mean that failure won’t happen anymore; failure is inevitable. But, how you react to that failure is what makes all the difference.
Although it doesn’t feel like it in the moment, God can take our failure and use it to break us, multiply us and bless us. As odd as that idea seems, it’s during these difficult times that our faith is tested and from the uncomfortable stretching, we grow. It’s often in seasons of difficulty, in times of failure, that we feel isolated and alone with no one to turn to - not even ourselves. But God knows our heart condition better than we do, and He can, and will, use whatever it takes to crush our pride and point us back to Him. Perfectionism, the driving force behind the performance trap, often stems from pride. The idea that anything we touch needs to be the best because ultimately, we’ve determined that the “thing” points back to our identity, and if the “thing” doesn’t measure up, then maybe we don’t either. But, when that pride takes over, we begin to see our worth and value in what WE can do - not in what God wants to do through us. And, as we’ve seen this week, perfection is a goal that always leads to failure. You will let you down every time. As we close out this week, take a few moments to be honest with yourself. Are you placing your value in yourself and what you can do? Or are you finding your value in the One who will never fail you - in God?
Pray: God, help me truly let go of the performance trap, and the pride that lies at the root of my need for perfectionism. As You lead me through difficult times, let me be humble enough to understand the lesson You have for me. And, when things go wrong, help me to see that my value lies in You, and not in what I can do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.