Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Overcoming Perfectionism

Be the very best you can be for Jesus.

That is just one of many TFI teachings that sound kind of sweet and innocent, but it sows the seed for a mind-trapping perfectionism.

That's the thing with so many doctrines of the cult. They seep into our minds sounding so "good," so "right," so "holy," that we readily accept them - but their actual practice takes a whole new form. "Make disciples of all nations" translates to "travel around the world annoying people by trying to foist your questionable religious beliefs on them." "Live by faith" to "beg on the streets and from door-to-door." And the quintessential, "God's only law is love" to "indiscriminate sex with multiple partners - as long as it is motivated by 'God's pure' love."

Back to "being your best." That morphs into never ever being satisfied with anything you do. So there is the never-ending, yet pointless, quest for perfectionism, that is further confused by the constant knowledge that we can never be good enough. (Only Jesus is good, right?)

This makes decision-making an endless nightmare of self-doubt. "What should I do? What is best?" Even simple things take on time-wasting dimensions, "What should I get for so-and-so for Christmas? What is the 'perfect' gift?"

This is something I've conquered in some areas, but I am still plagued by indecision about important things. I can settle for getting someone a gift that is "nice" or "good enough," but oh, how the big decisions plague me. "Where to spend my future? How to survive with no retirement funds? What to do?" 

Cult members answer that one easily, with a blithe "Jesus will take care of me." I can no longer do that, and I long for the clarity that a clear future plan will bring me.

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