I’ll be re-posting and finishing a series looking at why we do, think and feel the way we do. The core idea is this: we either make our decisions based on God’s promises in the Gospel, or on something else.
What is that something else? What drives us? What motives lie beneath the surface? Catch up by reading the first one — Preference — and some thoughts on how these factors play out in pastoral counseling.
So, what drives us?
I am a ‘recovering perfectionist,’ meaning when asked what drives me, I am more apt to make decisions based on getting things right and seek perfection than on other motives (like preference).
Perhaps I never want to be seen as lazy, or perhaps there is an inner drive for excellence. It can be both a strength and a weakness. When a drive for perfection becomes ultimate, it supplants the Perfect Creator as my source of significance. (The only remedy is to repent and believe the Gospel: we no longer have to work for significance in Christ; rather we work from significance in Christ, according to the Gospel.) There are a couple on this list that that I tend towards, and perfection-driven is one of them.
In short, if perfection drives me: I am my own worse critic, and like to have control.
Let’s look at how this plays out in life. Consider your own heart and motives.
Situation … response:
- When all is well in my life … Hey, look at me! But I sometimes wonder why it’s not always like this.
- When trials enter my life … I don’t want others to know that I don’t have my life all together. (So I don’t talk openly about my weaknesses.)
- When I am criticized, I … Get defensive because no one realizes I’m probably superior to them.
- My relationship with God is … Makes me feel better (or worse) depending on if I’m meeting my own standards & goals.
- Motivation: Being right, jealousy.
- When I sin … I think I should know and do better and beat myself up (failure). Vow to make it up.
- I trust … in myself and those who share my high standards.
- My greatest strengths/ weaknesses are … my strength is my high standards & wisdom; my weakness is that I can beat myself and others up emotionally
- My identity is found in … my own abilities to control life and others.
Is that you?
Pride and guilt are horrible task-masters.
Repent of trusting in yourself and trust Christ for your acceptance before God and people.
Christianity: The only religion where man is saved when he stops trying to save himself.
By God’s grace we can experience change,
through continually realizing that Jesus is our Perfection,
because He is God’s only way of acceptance.