Fighting the “all or Nothing” Part of Me
I have an “all or nothing” part of me. When I’m undertaking a new endeavor, I either give it my all or I give it my nothing. Usually, the nothing results from the impossibility of the all. I start excited: I can do this! Give it my all! But, inevitably, I actually can’t. So the shame creeps in… because I’m not perfect… and if I’m not perfect, I’m not worthy. So why did I even try? I will never be able to do this. Give it nothing.
I’m trying to combat this mentality, because it is not rooted in truth. Frustrated by my utter weakness and incapability of even a modicum of self-control, I took it to prayer. I know that God does not want me to sit in this shame. I know that He wants me to trust in His Love for Him, and rest in the truth that I can’t earn my salvation, that He has already ransomed Himself for me. But I also know that He doesn’t want me to continue in my slavery to sin. He wants freedom for me. So I sat with Him and wondered how I was supposed to reconcile these two – resting and trusting He will supply the grace but also realizing that I have my part to do as well. I had no peace in trying to do it all on my own, yet I had no peace in resigning to my weakness and continuing in my sin. God, what do you want me to do here?
And then I heard those words in my heart: Try. Just try.
He’s not asking me to do it all by myself. He knows my weakness. He knows the places I need healing and grace. He knows that left to my own devices, I will give it my all for a few days and then wane into shame and sadness because I am unable to overcome my weakness. So he doesn’t ask me to give it my all. He just asks me to try.
I wrote it on my planner this week. My hope is that when I see those words, I will be motivated just to try. And if I fail, that’s ok. I can learn something from that. But if I succeed, I will be one step closer to my goals. And I’ll know I didn’t get there on my own. Because it’s not all or nothing. It’s progress over perfection.