Thursday, June 15, 2006

Post-therapy Reading

I was assigned some reading to help me recover from my tight-rope walking (perfectionism). The book is called Scandalous Freedom by Steve Brown. I've read so many books. This one is average at best. Yet I'm submitting to the stuff on perfectionism, which is pretty good, even though the book is a whole does not strike me as a "great book." (Only a perfectionist would have to determine if a book is worthy of submitting to before submitting to it). Here's some random quotes from Chapter Three. It's post-therapeutic for me to write them down here.

"When I am obsessed with being better instead of being consumed with God's love and grace, I become prideful if I can pull it off and self-centered if I can't. The greatest cause for our not getting better is our obsession with not getting better."

"In the end, you will either give up trying to be good, or else become one of those people who, as they say, 'lives for others' but always in a discontented, grumbling way -- always making a martyr of yourself. And once you have become that you will be a far greater pest to anyone who has to live with you then you would have been if you had remained frankly selfish. While the fact that I'm not going to get much better has disappointed some, I'm a lot easier to live with."

"I may not be a good person, but I know that goodness in itself is a good thing for me and for society in which I live. I may not be able to love, but I know that loving is better than hating. I may not always be honest, but I know that honesty is a good thing and better than dishonesty."

"When I said I didn't think I was going to get much better, the operative word there is 'I,' not 'getting better.' When I said I was giving up, I was talking about my own personal self-powered efforts at getting better."

"Perfectionism is the belief that one can be perfect -- or at least better than everybody else. Perfectionism will make you sour, mean, and judgmental, and it will rob you of the freedom Jesus died to give you. Not only will it rob you of your freedom, it make you a horrible bore."

"When I stopped working so hard at being better and turned to Jesus, that's when, almost without noticing it, I started getting just a little better."

"So I know I'm better than I was. Wish I could tell you how I got better, but God won't tell me; and most of the time, he won't tell you either. We're just going to have to trust the Spirit in each of us that God is making us like His Son . . . even if it isn't the picture they gave us in Sunday School."

"The most godly person you know probably doesn't even know that he or she is altogether that godly."


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