unrealistic expectations

The Happy Perfectionist

This Labor Day weekend Susan and I, with some trepidation, made the trek up north to check on our vacation home. We had the place rented out this past year and our renters moved out the end of August. Having not been there for some time and only been limited as landlords to periodic reports; we came armed with cleaning supplies, tools and our sleeves rolled up to spend the weekend working.
When we drove up the driveway and walked through the front door all our fears were allayed. We were pleasantly surprised to find everything in good repair, the furniture and furnishings back in their proper places, and the house well cleaned and vacuumed. Even the garage was swept and clean the way we had left it and the lawn mowed. It was as if no one had ever lived there. What a joy! And blessed are the responsible renters for they shall inherit their full damage deposit!
Joy and perfectionism are infrequent companions and the term the “happy perfectionist” is for the most part an oxymoron. Those like me with the perfectionist gene know that perfectionism is a hard task master. Unfortunately the more afflicted a person is with perfectionism the more unlikely they are to be satisfied that things have met their expectations. And by the same token the less likely they are to be happy with the result. Thankfully however, I can say that I was a happy perfectionist with how we found our home.
There are typically only two times when a perfectionist is truly happy. First when they complete a task that measures up to their high standards of excellence and fully meets their expectations. And second, when someone else completes a task that measures up to their high standards of excellence and fully meets their expectations.

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Putting a stop to nagging religious guilt!

“For I do not do the good I want to do … “ Romans 7:19

Religious guilt is like a tooth ache that has no cure. There are different types of guilt. Most guilt is good in the sense that it is motivated and empowered by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It is resolvable. It leads us to repentance, change and ultimately spiritual life. Jesus’ offer of forgiveness and the cleansing from all unrighteousness through the confession of our sins is a hope-filled promise. (1 John 1:9)

What I have chosen to call religious guilt is not as easily resolved. It is a guilt that masquerades as a call to holiness and righteousness but in reality is a lure to religious bondage and the seeking of righteousness by works rather than by faith. This type of guilt is a hard task master. Rather than offering hope it enslaves people in frustration and discouragement.

Religious guilt is unique in that it typically stalks people who love God and want to please Him. It is a guilt that is best categorized as relating to sins of omission rather than sins of commission. Sins of omission are failing to do those things that one can and ought to do

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