Perfect or Perfectionism?
Priscilla Van Sutphin
One of the largest injustices in the church today is the lack of patience with each other and an intolerance for anyone who doesn't move to the same beat we do. Intolerance, impatience and frustration are part of a complex stronghold associated with perfectionism along with pride, ego and vanity. It is an adulteration or perversion of true love, the kind associated with true Christian love. One is conditional, and not love at all. The other is motivated by the love of Christ in us. Perfectionism says, hurry up and get it together so we don't have to put up with your aberrant behavior or behavior which is not agreeable to us.
We don't like, sometimes, those who are different. Some in the church have traveled a much harder road, and we don't have patience with them, even enough to pray for them, when they need soaking prayer and for us to love on them . The fault is in our own dysfunction that seems invisible to those of us walking in our pride. We think we are better somehow if we are quieter and more at peace, instead of preferring the weaker brother or sister. Also, sometimes we aren't quite honest in confronting in love the things we see in others that do need attention. We are often impatient to take the time it takes to love on others. And loving on others takes time.
I remember someone teaching us at a leadership group for future cell leaders once that when you make a new convert, you should spend at least 15 minutes a week with them ! At the time I was appalled that he could stand and say that without realizing the lack of concern and care there was evidenced in that statement. Remember, if you will, how the early Christians did things...they broke bread together, and shared all they had with each other. They met daily and we can't even give of our very busy time to those in need. You know if we tried less to do, to the many, and just cared for the one we know, it would speak much better for us as a whole church.
Like the person who wrote this....
Aristides, a Christian from Athens, wrote this in defense of Christians to the Emperor Hadrian in the year 125 AD....... "they love one another, and from widows they do not turn away their esteem; and they deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. And when they see a stranger, they take him in to their homes and rejoice over him as a very brother; for they do not call them brethren after the flesh, but brethren after the spirit and in God. And whenever one of their poor passes from the world, each one of them according to his ability gives heed to him and carefully sees to his burial. And if they hear that one of their number is imprisoned or afflicted on account of the name of their Messiah, all of them anxiously minister to his necessity , and if it is possible to redeem him they set him free. And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food. They observe the precepts of their Messiah with much care, living justly and soberly as the Lord their God commanded them. Every morning and every hour they give thanks and praise to God for his lovingkindnesses toward them; and for their food and their drink they offer thanksgiving to Him."
This attitude of gratefulness and thanksgiving is not evident in the pride of perfectionism. In perfectionism there is discontentment with self and with others. Nothing is ever done as perfectly as it SHOULD be. I know very well as I lived with perfectionism all my life, in my foster home and with my natural mother, and I became what I judged. I have had to still battle thoughts in my mind that criticize and judge others. Faultfinding is a close companion to these other spirits associated with perfectionism. And never feeling good enough is transferred often to God as a result of the harsh taskmaster in our lives. In God's eyes we often never feel good enough.
This is often accompanied by self-condemnation and condemnation of others. It fits quite well with a religious spirit because a religious spirit is like a harsh taskmaster, always demanding MORE. Always ready to compulsively confess to whatever sin there is out of fear of punishment...but without inner healing, not really achieving the peace that comes from heart change wrought by the Spirit of God when He comes and heals your inner man. Roots of perfectionism in our heart are often fueled by fear that came as a child;fear of failure, fear of punishment or abuse or neglect, fear of not being loved, that came when we didn't do things perfectly. But fear involves TORMENT the scriptures say. And only the LOVE of GOD can cast down these fears and uproot the damage done when parents or teachers demand more of a child than they can do themselves such as happens with perfectionism. Trying to please God like we did our parents is noble but can become just a habit of compulsive behavior and confession, and no real healing will take place unless we surrender completely our will in getting the healing we need.
So in an effort to dispel some religious demons I looked up the word perfect in the Word, and the study speaks for itself.God sanctifies us with His glory as a progressive work, and in order for Him to do that we need to get into His presence, through reading the word to transform our mind, and through intimate worship and prayer and meditation with, and on the Living Word, Who is a person. Remembering that Christ Jesus admonished the religious that they search the scriptures for in THEM they think they have salvation, but they were unwilling to come to HIM the well of Living Water.
OT:8003 shalem (shaw-lame'); from OT:7999; complete (literally or figuratively); especially friendly: KJV-full, just, made ready, peaceable, perfect (-ed), quiet, Shalem [by mistake for a name], whole.
OT:4357 miklah (mik-law'); from OT:3615; completion (in plural concrete adverbial, wholly): KJV-perfect. Compare OT:4356. OT:4356 mikla'ah (mik-law-aw'); or miklah (mik-law'); from OT:3607; a pen (for flocks): KJV-([sheep-]) fold.
NT:5046 teleios (tel'-i-os); from NT:5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with NT:3588) completeness:KJV-of full age, man, perfect.
Our whole walk is a progressive climb towards wholeness !
seen in thess verses...
Be ye therefore 5046 perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is 5046 perfect.
Rom 12:2 KJV And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and (5046) perfect, will of God.
1 Cor 13:10 KJV But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
Acts 24:22 KJV And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.
NT:197 akribesteron (ak-ree-bes'-ter-on);
neuter of the comparative of the same as NT:196; (adverbially) more exactly:
KJV-more perfect (-ly).
2 Cor 12:9 KJV And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me
NT:5048 teleioo (tel-i-o'-o); from NT:5046; to complete, i.e. (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character): KJV-consecrate, finish, fulfil, make) perfect.
Thus when we are weak, if we do anything well, it is because of HIS WORK in us, He is the ONLY PERFECT ONE. So many times people idolize teachers, but we as teachers often are imperfect beings. Knowing what is right doesn't mean you can apply it consistently. We have good days and bad days in terms of walking in the Spirit consistently. Haven't met anyone yet who is perfect except Jesus. God alone is perfect.
2 Cor 13:11 KJV Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. (2675)
NT:2675 katartizo (kat-ar-tid'-zo); from NT:2596 and a derivative of NT:739; to complete thoroughly, i.e. repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust: KJV-fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect (-ly join together), prepare, restore.
Gal 3:3 KJV Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit,
are ye now made perfect by the flesh
[2005 - made perfect]
NT:2005 epiteleo (ep-ee-tel-eh'-o); from NT:1909 and NT:5055; to fulfill further (or completely), i.e. execute; by implication, to terminate, undergo: KJV-accomplish, do, finish, (make) (perfect), perform (X -ance).
Paul also talks about finishing the race and working out your salvation (the word for deliverance in that case) with fear and trembling. It is a PROCESS, and not instantaneous as some would have us think. God is not like a snow sled driver yelling MUSH YOU HUSKIES! He leads us into paths of righteousness for His name's sake it says in scripture. Emphasis on HE LEADS. We cannot accomplish perfection by trying harder to be more perfect as that is a fakery.
IF WE COULD, WHY WOULD WE NEED A SAVIOR???
Thousands of years on earth, man could not be perfect yet some are teaching today, that they can be! Are we better than they? He is our righteousness! It is by faith we have been saved that no man could boast! Anything good in us or done by us comes because of HIM. But our churches are full of boasting.so GOD MUST COME AND TRANSFORM US! His word in the Old Testament establishes this.
The lame are not yet leaping like a deer commonly, like it says in Isaiah 66. He promises to bring us forth to birth of Christ in us, the Hope of Glory. We are on the path. And there is also admonishment to those who stubbornly refuse to get the healing needed to be made perfect! It is ONLY in HIS PRESENCE that we can be healed and perfected. Not by our own might or strength, but by HIS SPIRIT! But we must submit to His will in inner healing and deliverance. We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit !
Eph 4:13 KJV Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: [5046 perfect - teleios ]
Phil 3:12 KJV Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. [5048 perfect - telioo]
Phil 3:15 KJV Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
In other words. As we follow Him and try to walk in the Spirit, He will reveal anything not right. HE [Holy Spirit] is the One to convict us, and reveal the roots of behavior that need changing and healing.
Note it says GOD WILL REVEAL IT, not your brother or sister feeling compelled to "FIX" you. There is the responsibility to be listening through relationship with Him inferred in this. Also there is a difference in "fixing" others which is a form of control, and telling the truth in LOVE which comes out of real RELATIONSHIP with another person where you have developed TRUST. We need to know the difference. Often out of fear we don't confront our friends, but whatever we do, it better be because God told us to do it, not out of our compulsion to "FIX" others.
Col 1:28 KJV Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: [5046 perfect ]
People need understanding of the Word of God to also grow in wisdom and knowledge of what God expects, and then they can pray rightly for Him to do that in them. But I have to say something else at this point. The green in emerald is because of a defect in the stone of copper which gives it it's beautiful color. Thus God may leave some things in you that are NOT perfect just to rub on someone else who thinks they
are perfect : ).
Iron sharpens iron. You'll note that Paul, Peter, Barnabas were not perfect men either yet God used them so mightily, just like many men and women in the old testament. David certainly was not perfect yet God called him a man after his own heart!!! God called Moses the most HUMBLE man! yet he blew it too.
Lesson being, LET GOD be the ONE to evaluate you. Paul said, I don't even criticize myself in one word. Self condemnation only leads to depression and also invites the rest of such spirits so that you tend then to judge others harshly like yourself.
Col 4:12 KJV Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
[ 5046 perfect 2532 and 4137 complete ]
1 Thess 3:10 KJV Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? [2675 might perfect]
NT:2675 katartizo (kat-ar-tid'-zo); from NT:2596 and a derivative of NT:739; to complete thoroughly, i.e. repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust: KJV-fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect (-ly join together), prepare, restore.
2 Tim 3:17 KJV That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Herein is the reason partly of being made perfect that our works would be to the Glory of God, fully in obedience to Him.[739-perfect]
NT:739 artios (ar'-tee-os); from NT:737;
fresh,i.e.(by implication) complete: KJV-perfect.
Alot of this has to do with perspective, and allowing GOD to be in charge, depending on HIM, versus ourselves which is pride. If we can do it all ourselves, again that is self sufficiency, not God dependency, and related to pride. GOD is our Master, our Savior. Again if we can do it without a savior, then the cross is nullified!!! Anything good in me, any good I do, is because of HIM in me, not my own flesh, but HIS SPIRIT controlling me, because I allow Him to! Yielding that much trust does NOT come easy to most of us. Our society is very perfectionism/performance oriented, and driven. We in the church have been duped by the "PURPOSE DRIVEN life" vs the GOD DEPENDENCE OF THE CROSS. And many who come to God are looking for identity, and being appreciated, loved for what they have to offer. If we as a church would accept one another and look for the good in others, instead of being so selfish, and self centered, then more people would come. But they get to the church and feel they cannot live up to the standards set by some who are leaders.
Heb 2:10 KJV For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Here again is the word teleeo (5048) and we are made perfect
through what? Suffering also!
Heb 7:19 KJV For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
HE made the way for our progress towards holiness by providing a way through the veil, which before, only the high priest could enter. Thus we can enter His throne of GRACE into His presence that brings Love & His Life, and all that He is to us.
Heb 9:9 KJV Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Heb 9:11 KJV But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Heb 10:1 KJV For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers there unto perfect.
A shadow is dark, it's not the perfect image of a thing. Thus the law couldn't do anything, only the blood of JESUS, not the blood of animals could completely heal our condition, paying the full price of redemption.
Heb 12:23-25 KJV To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
5048 made perfect,(teleeo again)
Thus it is ONLY THROUGH CHRIST that we can be made complete, and that is a progressive work. He alone is perfect. He said, to the rich young man, Why do you call me "good", only ONE is GOOD!
Heb 13:21 KJV Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
It is ONLY by HIS GRACE which is His POWER can we obey Him. If you think not, He will show you what it is to walk without that grace/power.
James 1:4-6 KJV But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Anything we need at any given moment, we have but to ASK OF GOD, and HE will provide it. But you must BELIEVE/HAVE FAITH that He will do it.
James 1:17 KJV Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
I love this term, Father of LIGHTS. He is the LIGHT of the World, and there is no changing in him. He was, is and will always be Perfection. He pours His light into you as you worship Him, that you can be a conduit of His love and life to others, not just so you can have a party, but so you can share that great grace and love to others.
James 1:25 KJV But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of
the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Wow, keeping our eyes on the law of LIBERTY, and continuing in that liberty of only being led of the Spirit, not forgetting that liberty and grace we have, and being obedient to His commands, THIS MAN HE says shall be blessed. This mirrors Galatians and Pauls admonition that if you go back to the law and thinking that keeping the law saves you, you are under a curse, focusing on that instead of focusing on CHRIST JESUS, and getting all you need of Him to do what HE says to you right now. It so makes me think of how independent we tend to be, instead of dependent on what to do. I remember Heidi Baker saying many times, how she has become like a child. A child gets their instructions from father and mother, and depends on them for sustenance and nurturing. Jesus admonished us to be like a child. But we have a tendency to be INDEPENDENT, instead of dependent because the world thinks independence is better and success depends on that in their minds. But we want to hear, well done, good and faithful SERVANT. We want to follow JESUS, our ADONAI.
James 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? (of course not)
It is only by His Work on the cross that we can be made whole.
James 3:2 KJV For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
This also indicates it is impossible to please everyone something a perfectionist does not believe totally. A perfectionist thinks they can please everyone, and that they MUST please everyone to get approval. It is so built in us as we grow up in that environment of conditional love, that it is very hard to overcome sometimes even when we have been saved. It speaks for FORBEARANCE a fruit of the Holy Spirit that bears with the weakness and faults of others, and I might add OURSELVES. We must also be patient with ourselves in this moth eaten, driven, world.
1 Peter 5:10 KJV But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you. [2675 perfect]
Oh how we hate to hear the suffering part, but the scriptures declare that you must share in His suffering to share in His glory. What is suffering for one or another is also relative. Each person has their different limits of what they can handle, and God alone knows what that is.
1 John 4:17-18 KJV Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
[5048 made perfect]
Love that is perfect, God's love casts down all fear. When we are fearing what other people think or fearing failure, or punishment, or retaliation or death or anything we are not perfected in love and this should be a clue to us that we need His healing LOVE to touch us MORE. So when that feeling from the enemy speaks into your ear, retreat to the One Who is LOVE, and worship. Speak the TRUTH against his lies outloud to keep that lie from entering your thoughts again. Keep doing it till he leaves you alone. ie..I am My Beloveds and HE is mine!
Rev 3:2 KJV Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
NT:4137 pleroo (play-ro'-o); from NT:4134; to make replete, i.e. (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: KJV-accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.
NT:4134 pleres (play'-race); from NT:4130; replete, or covered over; by analogy, complete: KJV-full.
NT4130 pletho (play'-tho); a prolonged form of a primary pleo (pleh'-o) (which appears only as an alternate in certain tenses and in the reduplicated form pimplemi); to "fill" (literally or figuratively [imbue, influence, supply]); specifically, to fulfil (time): KJV-accomplish, full (... come), furnish.
So allow yourself to be filled with Him, & with the Word of God which is your Immune system against all the germs/evil lies of the enemy.
2 Chron 19:9 KJV And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
Shalem = 8003 - from 7999, complete, especially friendly: full, just, made ready, peaceable, perfected, quiet, whole.
A perfect heart is a quiet heart because it is at peace and in full trust of the Lord to do whatever He has said He will do.
Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. [8535 perfect]
OT:8535 tam (tawm); from OT:8552; complete; usually (morally) pious; specifically, gentle, dear: KJV-coupled together, perfect, plain, undefiled, upright.
So Job was one that feared God, yet he feared loss for which he was convicted later, as it said the thing he greatly feared came upon him. Yet like
so many others, God saw him as perfect man and it says he eschewed evil which is to depart from evil.
Job 8:20 KJV Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers:
Job 9:20-22 KJV If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life. This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked.
Job didn't see himself as perfect as it states. So he says that the perfect and wicked are dealt with similarly which echoes Ecclesiastes which says it rains on the good and the bad. But perfectionism makes one think that if something bad happens it's because you did something wrong, when it may be an opportunity to suffer in Christ that brings MORE BLESSINGS!! Blessings come because of His love for us, not just because of striving or suffering. Because God is LOVE.
Job 22:3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him that thou makest thy ways perfect?
We can't take any pride on when we are able to live in the Spirit. For nothing comes except through the Spirit of God.
Job 36:4 For truly my words shall not be false: He that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.
Here we see perfection linked with integrity and truth. It is knowing the truth that sets us free. We don't automatically KNOW the truth. Even if you read through the bible once, you don't KNOW all truth. We only absorb so much at a time and apply so much at a time. Again knowing truth is PROGRESSIVE. So give yourself some slack. I'm not saying take pride in sinning. I'm saying all are sinning and falling short of the mark, so no self condemnation. If we are convicted all we have to do it confess and repent. But understand each time you turn away from that sin, you are gaining ground on the demons controlling you. So don't give up! God is a great Deliverer!
Ps 18:32 KJV It is God that girdeth me with strength, maketh my way perfect.
Ps 19:7 KJV The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Ps 37:37 KJV Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
Here perfection is aligned with PEACE ! He who is made perfect will have peace because he has learned to trust fully in God no matter what his condition.
Basilea Shlenk had such good advice for how to deal with moral failure.
She said to first confess your sin, and then ask & praise God that HE is helping you to overcome it, vs condemning yourself!
Ps 64:2-4 KJV Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.
Ps 101:2 KJV will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
Ps 101:1-7 KJV I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
[8549 perfect ]
It is interesting here that perfection is associated with not being unequally yoked with the wicked. That means obedience to God in all our ways, and not being afraid of the rejection of man because we know God loves us.
Ps 138:8 KJV The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth forever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
[1584 will perfect]
Prov 11:5 KJV The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
Prov 4:18 KJV But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. ( gradual process implied by shineth more and more glory to glory)
Prov 2:21 KJV For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
Thank You God that You sent Your Son to make us perfected in Your site that we could enter in to the Holy place and seek Your help in time of need, behind the veil. Like it says in Songs, we are dark but lovely. We are dark but our hearts are lovely to YOU! For You redeemed us, paying the price for our sins.
Isa 38:3 KJV And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
Over and over in scripture it refers to the perfect in HEART so look at David whom God described as a man after His own heart as an example of perfection and in that we do not see someone who never made mistakes do we? His heart was perfect in repenting before God. In his heart David wanted to do what is right. Hezekiah did too, and cried out, and God extended his life.
1 Chron 29:19 KJV And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision. [8003 perfect ]
We can pray for our children and relatives/friends/ strangers that God would give them a new, or more perfect heart. After all HE hardened pharoah's heart thus it makes sense He can also soften a heart, including ours when we feel it's grown cold. God promised to never leave us nor forsake us, and I've been in a place where my heart grew cold and God was faithful to melt it. Sometimes our hearts grow cold due to unforgiveness of someone, and bitterness sets in, but if we repent and turn to the Lord and forgive, He is faithful and just to forgive us and washes that sin far away from us. He renews our hearts if we ask. David prayed, create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit in me.
1 Kings 8:61 KJV Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.
Micah says, and what does the Lord require of you oh man? (to paraphrase) But that you do justly, show mercy, and walk HUMBLY with your God ! Jesus said Justice, mercy and FAITH are the weightier matters of the law. So continue to press in sons of man and be diligent seekers of Him as that is who He says he will reward !
If perfectionism is something you are trying to overcome "Living With a Perfectionist" by Dr David Stoop is wonderful for opening of the eyes and good suggestions for overcoming in some areas.
Prayer for freedom:
Father, in the name of Jesus, I confess that I have struggled with perfectionism and I want to be free, so I ask you to unravel the cords of perfectionism over my mind and heart and soul. I surrender to you my life completely and renounce all trying to keep in control of it. I want to surrender 100% Lord to Your will in my life. I renounce all religiosity, all perfectionism, all pride and discontentment, all ego and vanity, all frustration , intolerance and impatience with others and I thank you that You are removing them from my life; that you will give me abundant grace to over come all the works of the enemy that have hindered me. Uproot all ancient & generational spirits from my family. Forgive Lord all idolatry and witchcraft, divination and sorcery in my family line, and in all living relatives and myself. Uproot and heal all the negative experiences in my life that led me to not trust You, and help me to forgive those that treated me with perfectionism. Help me Lord to worship and praise You in all things. Give me a grateful heart, a heart of thanksgiving before You. Pour out Your manifest LOVE in me and set me free from all my fears Lord, in Jesus Mighty name ! Amen !