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You Don't Have to Do That

  • "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’” 2 Cor. 12:9

    The other day the Lord sent me a dream that beautifully illustrated the power of His grace and how He saw the folly of perfectionism. In the dream, I was having to write out math problems like below:

      225

    +325

    ———

      550

    I was looking desperately for a ruler so I could draw the line above the sum, straight and level. I didn’t want to use the ruler, and didn’t even like doing the math in the first place, but felt like I had to, so was searching, hopelessly and exhausted. Even in the dream, I knew that it was about prayer and even my faith life. In life, we know quite a few people who are afraid to pray, because they feel they are not “good enough”. Sometimes they mean the way they conduct their lives, but often they mean that their prayers don’t sound “skilled” enough compared to others they see. The dream was reminding me that our life is not a formula that we can build based on what we see in others, just because we think they are somehow “better”. God has given each of us our special spark, and to strive to follow anyone else’s, no matter how perfect we try to make it, will only end up in frustration. 

    The amazing part of the dream though, was that after a while, the Holy Spirit walked into the room. Quietly, sweetly, simply, He whispered: “You don’t have to do that.” I would kind of shake my head, sigh heavily, and keep looking for the ruler. Every few minutes, He would just call out again, “You don’t have to do that.” Finally, the truth of His words finally got into my heart, and I broke down sobbing, so relieved that I could finally stop.

    One of my “takeaways” from this lesson is that God is not mad at us when we fail. You might say that this outlook of seeking perfection out of ourselves is a type of sin, and you would be right. The Holy Spirit, however, did not come forth yelling at me in judgement about it, but just gently showed the way to a better path. God loves us so much, more than we can even contain, so don’t worry that you’re not good enough, that you might make mistakes. You don’t have to do that.

    My second takeaway is that, wow, does God know us better than we know ourselves! This lesson that "we don’t have to be perfect and compare ourselves to others" is one that I thought I had already internalized, was pretty sure I had got it down. It’s probably one of the things I like to talk about the most, in fact. Yet…if I’m honest, lately I had been feeling a bit (or maybe more than a bit) of a wall when seeking to pray that I couldn’t identify. I’d also been meaning to do some writing for a while, but couldn’t seem to get inspired enough to do more than list some ideas. During both of those times, I would just feel tired. Rather than more coffee, what I really needed was a fresh outlook from God, which He graciously provided!

    Remember, whenever you feel stressed and afraid, don’t try to go it on your own. You don’t have to do that. There is One who will always be there for you, if you only let Him.


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10 comments
  • 2
Dion Todd
Dion Todd This was certainly a timely word from God. So many times we think that we know, but we just do not "get it" until He gets through to us. 
November 19, 2015
  • 2
Cheryl Wilson
Cheryl Wilson Yes, this is very enlightening; I appreciate your devotionals and they are ALL heartfelt!  Thanks Pastor Todd!
November 19, 2015
  • 2
Mary Pat Taylor
Mary Pat Taylor Thank you so much for this, sis! I really needed it today. :)
November 20, 2015
  • 2
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd (((HUGS)))
November 20, 2015
  • 3
Susan P
Susan Pedited: November 21, 2015 Wow, I broke down reading your words. 2 Corin 12:9 is my life motto because I have struggled with perfectionism so much. I have felt since a small child that I had to be perfect, that nothing else was acceptable, that I was not acceptable, to God or anyone, really.  That mindset and all the striving it brings brought such misery. No matter how hard I tried, I could see all my imperfections and weaknesses as glaring and unacceptable but felt that others were better and had "arrived".  The Lord has allowed me to fail and fail badly and often enough that I was forced to open my eyes to His amazing grace to even continue and grow in relationship with Him. Understanding this Grace brings a precious rest and peace and lifts the ugly burden of perfectionism. God loves us just as we are, blemishes and all. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful devotion, Sylvia.
November 21, 2015
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Amen, Susan! I have no doubt He even plans for us to fall over and over again, for our long-term good, so we can finally get some rest :).
November 21, 2015
  • 2
David and Dianna Wyles
David and Dianna Wyles Wow!Thank you for your profound words:) It's like you were dreaming of my life;) I read this yesterday but can't always post things from my mobile device. IDK why... it just doesn't always work right. Any ways it touched my heart deeply as I am struggling a little with overwhelmed feelings and when I read " you don't have to do that"... well it spoke to me on so many levels! It amazes me how I can know something and still need to be reminded often of that very thing I know so well... or think I do anyway. I know God's got the plan, yet I plan anyway!?! Still trying to figure that out :) So many times I find myself comparing myself to others and feeling less than...happy to know it just lies from satan:) Thank you for your inspired words and I am glad you got past that slump and wrote this :) Many blessings Sylvia
November 21, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Thank you so much, Dianna! I don't always type lengthy thngs on the phone either, but if there's an error message or anything, let us know and maybe we can look at it :). I know, it can be so difficult to just let the plan go and trust that we did our best and let God handle the rest :)!
November 21, 2015
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Julie Schneider
Julie Schneider This is wonderful! Thank you so much. Recently He reminded me that something I felt like I was pretty good at talking about was the very thing I needed to do! 
November 21, 2015
  • 2
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Haha, yeah, I was pretty amazed myself at that part. I also tend to think I'm pretty self-aware, so blah, lol ;-).
November 21, 2015