A mom of two toddlers and I recently discussed the subject of expectations. Heather Franklin granted me permission to share her insightful thoughts with you. Our goal is to set someone free from the pressure of a perfectionistic spirit.
Heather shared: “After a conversation with the husband I realized that my expectations of a clean house are very different from his. While he totally appreciates and enjoys a clean home, he informed me today that “I don’t expect perfection Heather. It is you who expects it from yourself.
Following my deep breath, I absorbed the freedom his statement gave me. I realized that God doesn’t expect perfection from me, either. He knows I could never give it. But so very often I fall into a performance trap. Read my Bible … check! Prayed in tongues while bouncing the baby … double check! Delivered a prophetic word that was spot on … check! Check! But the thing is…none of that is what God ultimately judges me by. I can read my Bible five hours a day and yet be snotty to my husband, grieving the heart of God. I can speak prophesies unknown and lose my temper with my kids uttering negative words, and those prophetic words can be in vain.
The point is – in all our checking off righteous behavior, assuming it pleases God, maybe we need to slow down, breathe deeply and ask God what we REALLY need to check. Because what He has to say to us may be very different than what we are placing on ourselves. God tells us to LOVE. On the good days, bad days, clean apartment days and ‘tornado hit the living room stopping by the kitchen’ days.”
She is so right! For me, Kate, I’m with Francesca Battistelli, “perfection is my enemy.” I take heart in the fact that, “when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.”
Journal Activity: Read and consider 1 Corinthians 13.
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always, always looks for the best,
Never looks back, but keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
If you enjoyed this devotional, stay tuned for more like it in my soon coming 60 Day Devotional and Activity Journal. I sincerely appreciate you stopping by my blog today. Your readership means a lot to me. Blessings, Kate
Christian inspirational writer of truth that makes darkness tremble. Author of Lion in My Garden devotional.