I Am OK If...

I used to believe, “I am OK if I’m a perfect Mormon.” Now I call that belief and the actions it fuels religious perfectionism. Instead, “I’m OK because I am a child of God.” How do you finish the sentence, “I am OK if…”? How is life different when God directs your actions instead of a need to measure up?


Video transcript (edited):

Today I’m sharing one of the global sins that I've struggled with so far, one that I've recognized governing much of my life. It is this sin of thinking that I can and need to save myself. It starts with the agreement or the belief inside of me, "I am okay if I am a perfect Mormon." It looks like me trying my hardest to do all of the commandments and activities that my church teaches, because if I am perfect at them then I know I am okay.

This belief is a lie. It's false. It is death-giving instead of life-giving. It makes me crazy. And, it denies the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So, all in all, definitely not helpful.

In addition, the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, — as taught in my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- is a firehose. It is abundant! There's so much knowledge and so many tools available that trying to drink it all is like trying to drink from a firehose. Trying to eat it all is like trying to eat an entire feast. It just isn't possible in one sitting. There are so many resources, so much to learn, and so many pieces that can bring me closer to God, that trying to do it all, right now, today, and perfectly, results in problems.

I call this “do-it-all” version of living the gospel, “religious perfectionism.” Metaphorically speaking, I would say it results in overeating and stomach cramps, if you're trying to eat the whole feast at once. (Or, possibly, it could result in literal overeating, right?, with the anxiety that often accompanies perfectionism?) Or, if I use the fire hose analogy, I could say that it results in drowning. It is too much.

Instead of “do-it-all,” I’ve learned to let God direct. At church I remind myself, “There are no ‘shoulds’ here. I'm not going to internalize any shoulds without the approval of the Spirit.” This approach requires a closer relationship with God. It requires me to check in with Him all the time. But this way, when somebody gives me a suggestion or advice or “You should do more with this," I check in with God and say, "Hi, do You want me to do more with this?" Most of the time He says no. In fact, most of the time He says, "Actually, Sarah, I want you to stop being a perfectionist. Just work on that for now."


Are you a perfectionist like me? Are you trying to save yourself? Or, how do you finish the sentence, "I am okay if..."

My next question for you is, what does your life look like when you let God lead? What things would He have you work on? How is your life different when you believe His answer, "You are okay because you are Mine," rather than "You are okay if.…”

That's all for today.

Keep shining!


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