A Prayer for Acknowledging Our Performance-ism and Perfectionism

     When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 2:1-4 (NLT)

     Dear heavenly Father… how I need this Scripture today. Paul’s model of relying on the Spirit—and nothing in himself, is both indicting and inviting. By your grace, Paul was so over himself. These verses are indicting because they expose the performer and perfectionist in me. I still get “sucked into” trying to gain and maintain people’s approval by what I do. Likewise, I often consider a day “good” or “bad,” based on the quality and quantity of my production. Rather than boasting in Christ alone, alas, I want to find something boast-worthy in me.

     That’s where this Scripture moves from indicting me to inviting me to a better, more beautiful way. Father, thank you for intending, and securing, our freedom by Jesus’ performance. Perfection can only be found in one place—in Christ. Your approval is all that really matters, and you’ve already given that to us fully in Jesus.

     Of course, what other’s think about us—and how we think of ourselves, is going to impact us. We’re human, not robotic. But you’ve given us the same gospel and the same Spirit you gave Paul. Thank you, Father. So, owning my weakness, I’ll seek to rely on the Holy Spirit all day long today; and forsaking all scorecards, I’ll seek to make Jesus my primary boast.

     Father, I’m trusting you help me be really present with people today. Grant me quick repentances, good listening, and words for building others up—according to their needs. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus loving and powerful name.