Remember when you were a child and you would play the copy-cat game with your siblings or friends?
Do you remember when you were a teen and you admired someone and felt the need to dress/talk/act like that person?
How about when you became an adult and saw other people’s cars/clothes/home and tried your best to emulate or accumulate everything that person had?
Did this ever make you truly happy inside? Was it ever enough to satisfy?
I mean, sure, there is great fun in annoying someone with the copy-cat game (just ask any kid you know!), but is it something we should do as adults?
For years I was totally unaware that I was playing this same game in adulthood. But I was, until Jesus got a hold of me and helped me realize that I am just right (and dearly loved) exactly as I am. He also helped me see that I don’t need to have or be all the things others are or have in order to lead a fulfilling life. I’m not here to be somebody else or get somebody else’s approval; I’m here to be who God created me to be for His purposes.
It is easy to slip back into this bad habit at times though, isn’t it? Many times we do it without even realizing it. For some, including me, this means trying to squeeze our family into the same shape, size, or form of another’s family.
“I wish my husband would lead the way hers does.”
“I wish my children were always as neatly put-together as that family.”
“I wish our children would behave as nicely as that family’s children.”
“I wish I was as good a wife/mother as she is.”
“I wish we were like that picture-perfect family gathered around the table in a Norman Rockwell painting.”
“I wish my house had _______, like theirs.”
“I wish we had _______, like their family.”
Amazingly, it took me years to see this is what I was doing; years to realize this as a slap in the face of the God who created my unique marriage, family, and home.
It’s Not About Keeping Up
You see, when we do this “keeping up” game we aren’t honoring God with our lives; our hearts, our minds – instead, we are coveting and idolizing; we aren’t living a life of godliness with contentment (1 Timothy 6:6)
And it’s a losing game.
Because no one else’s family is really as perfect as you perceive…
…no one else’s spouse is what you think…
…no one else’s children are well-behaved all the time…
…no one else’s house is HGTV perfect all the time…
And your life that they are idolizing isn’t nearly what it’s cracked up to be in their minds either.
Freedom from Perfectionism
What is it the Lord wants from us? For what are we striving? Hopefully, we all know that we are not going to be perfect this side of heaven, so stop looking for perfection in yourself or others – it’s not there. Perfection is found in Christ alone through faith in Christ alone.
Instead, ask God what it is He wants from your imperfect family; your beautifully messy imperfect life. You might be surprised at how light that yoke is to bear. You just might be surprised at the refreshing freedom awaiting!
If you’re still not convinced, read the next article, where Jim Bob reveals how to have The Perfect Family.
So, my dear readers, who or what are you trying to emulate? The world, other Christians, or Christ? What do you need to let go of and just let Him say “well done, good and faithful servant”? (Matthew 25:21)