What are you waiting for?

He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness,
but according to his own mercy,
by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3:5
Caleb_and_JeffThe pile of 2x12’s and ropes and planks were our “talents.” We each chose one. They could only be used a limited number of times, then eliminated.

The goal was to reach the circle on the other side of the trees.
The talents were to help us get there, just a means to an end.

So what did we do?
  boards_and_ropes
We hoarded our talents.

We wanted to use them (and we did), but we didn’t want to use them all up. 

We wanted to arrive at the goal still holding on to each board, each rope, each ball.

Why? We'd get no greater reward for doing so. 

Pride, perhaps? To do it like it had never been done before?

To do it perfectly?

Do we get a greater reward for having zero dust bunnies in the corner?
For never giving in to two Krispy Kreme doughnuts in a row?
For never having bad hair in public?Della_and_Lisa
Or do we get a lot of stress and tiredness, and ultimately, an ugly build-up of pride?

Remember the goal.
  • It’s not to be so strong that we don’t need him.
    It’s to let his strength shine through our weakness.
  • It’s not to be saved through our own works.
    It’s to be saved through his righteousness.
  • It’s not to look good ourselves.
    It’s to honor the Father.
Don’t wait until your house is spotless before you invite over the neighbors.
Don’t wait until your ideal weight before you love your mate in the light.
Don’t wait until you’ve got it all together before you go to church.

Don’t wait until your life is sinless
before you give it over to Jesus.


Because you’ll always be waiting.
Always be hoarding.

And you’ll never delight in his grace.

Don’t hoard the pride.
Receive the grace.
It’s what you’ve been waiting for. 

You can never use it all up.
For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 
not a result of works,
so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9
* * *
Yes, I struggle with perfectionism. You, too?
What helps you get over it?

21 comments:

Barbara H. said...

I think I have two main temptations along these lines. Usually if I am tempted to hoard anything, it is because I am afraid I will run out of it or need it later. But with the resources God has given us, that's not possible, because He has promised to meet all our needs, and all our resources come from Him, anyway.

My second and worse one is selfishness. I tend to either want to use my resources for myself or don't want to expend the time and energy to serve others -- both wrong on so many levels.

Melissa said...

Exactly. I think these tendencies are more common than we'd like to admit. But since His power is made perfect in our weakness, why should we?

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

Thank you for reminding me it is ok to invite people in despite the dust bunnies..while my grandmother would disagree I know that Jesus wants me to choose relationship over perfection any day!

Jenna said...

sounds like what we were talking about last night...

Courtney said...

Oh yes, this is so right on. Love how you get to the heart of the issue - He shines through our weakness but we have to let go of pride and just be weak sometimes. Good stuff.

Dianna said...

May I just say that this was a very timely post for me? Thank you so much for being the vessel the Holy
Spirit spoke through to me, Lisa.

Love you!

Lisa notes... said...

Barbara,
I appreciate you sharing your two main temptations. I totally relate to both. I’ll often save the last little bit of something “just in case.” But won’t God always provide more if I need more? And I really need to apply that with my selfishness over time…he is well able to give me extra in that too, if and when I need it (not just want it).

Kati patrianoceu said...

I am pretty sure that 2 krispy kreme donuts in a row would make me quite sick!!

Really, though, I know the type of perfectionism you're talking about. In other ways, I'm good at the game of just-good-enough instead of perfect, but when it's a question of i-can-do-just-a-little-more I can't stop! Thanks for getting me thinking...

Lisa notes... said...

Melissa,
Ha. When I think about how many times in a week my mother would vacuum…oh my. But she did have people in and out of our house all the time while I was growing up. I know times have changed, but I still have no excuse for not doing more of that.

I know what you mean that Jesus prefers relationship over perfection. Well-said!

Lisa notes... said...

Dianna,
Love how God uses us to do that for each other. You’ve often been the vessel He’s used for me! I pray you’re doing well.

Lisa notes... said...

Oh, Kati. I wish 2 donuts in a row would make me sick! Then maybe I wouldn’t be as tempted. Ha.

I had to question my perfectionist tendencies when I didn’t get this very blog post written last night like I wanted to. I typically like to schedule my posts to auto-post early in the morning—but not if they’re not written! But since the post itself was on perfectionism, I decided I best prove to myself that I could let it go and not be so strict on myself. So I went to bed instead.

But yeah, sometimes just-good-enough is a different kind of battle too. No wonder it’s so hard to find balance! Sometimes it feels like a moving target. That’s where grace comes in, huh?

Glynn said...

There's all kinds of good reasons besides perfectionism -- like showing off, like wanting to show up the other teams, like wanting to feel wise and superior. OK, so those are variants of perfectionism, but still...

Good post, Lisa.

Lisa notes... said...

Glynn,
Those variants of perfectionism can be just as troublesome, huh? Sometimes even more so because they’re sneaky. I’m thinking of the verse that says “knowledge puffs up but love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1) Remembering to keep LOVE for God and others as our motive is the best deterrent to all of it.

But easier said than done…

Rebecca said...

What spoke to me the most..."It’s not to be so strong that we don’t need him." Great reminder!

Stephani said...

Yikes! This hit home tonight Lisa.

emily wierenga said...

remember the goal. thank you lisa. you always remind me of whose eyes i need to be beholding... xo

Caroline said...

That Titus verse is so *perfect* (ha ha) for this topic! As are the Ephesians verses.

This is a really great post, Lisa. I'm praying to delight in His grace. Beautiful and needed.

Monica Sharman said...

That first bullet under "remember the goal" is pretty tough for me. I like to FEEL STRONG. But then, there's that pride thing...

Mama Mpira said...

Oh yes, we shouldn't wait until we have everything perfect, whether in ourselves, our homes, our families...and I have subscribed to the Swedish proverb which says 'better a little dust in the corners than a clean hell' for years...BUT I still fall into the trap of 'not good enough'... Great reminders to 'Remember our Goal' - thank you!

Megan said...

I know I struggle with being a perfectionist everyday. I need to learn to stop and just let that go. I am here to serve Him, not me. Thanks for reminding me of that :) I love your blog!

Patti said...

It is beyond earthly comprehension that I can never use up the grace of God. I am so desperate for it, so consuming of it, and it takes a choice to live the truth that it is inexhaustible. I don't always live that way. I fall easily into the trap of perfectionism, of hurry and worry and works. Such ego, that! Ah, Lord, less of me, more of You!

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