An Addiction I Can Live With

Mar 29, 2010

And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah,
our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful
as God enters our lives and we become like him.

~ 2 Corinthians 3:18, The Message

I’m a recovering perfectionist.

I’ve mentioned this before, but like an alcoholic, it’s the regular admission of it that keeps me from grabbing the bottle of my addiction and drinking my fill.

For most of my life I’ve tipped the cup of my works, swallowed all my tireless efforts hoping that God and others would find me satisfactory. Behind every glass of perfectionism is the fear that it won’t be enough. That my insatiable need to be approved will remained unsatisfied. This fear leads me to grab glass after glass of my efforts, hoping to drown both my fear and other’s expectations with my good-ness so my bad-ness won’t be as apparent. Hoping, always hoping, that maybe this time I will finally be good enough, talented enough, strong enough, whole enough.

Like I said, I’m in recovery. Chances are you are, too. Often I see God trying to wrestle this cup of poison from our grasp, with reminders like …

  • Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
  • You are precious and honored in my sight … I love you (Isaiah 43:4)
  • Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name, you are mine (Isaiah 43:1)
  • Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant removed (Isaiah 54:10)

Today I read 2 Corinthians 3:18 again, but it felt like the first time. Out of the mouth of Paul, another overachiever from whom God wrestled the bottle of self-righteous good works, I am reminded—oh, the relief!—that God already knows I’m a woman in progress. There is no expectation from God that I am to be a perfected child of His. I am simply to be His child, an in-progress woman who puts down her foolish bottle of good works and instead drinks deep of the love of God.

That’s an addiction I can live with.

(photo courtesy of ftibor, stock.xchng)


  1. Deana OHara

    Right there with you. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Michele Cushatt

      Thanks, Deana. Always nice to know I'm not alone.


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