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EXPECTING THE BEST

Jori, Hannah, Bekah & Aly

being perfect is exhausting

I have always expected the best from myself. A perfectionist, I was not content with anything but an A. Trying to “do my best,” I stressed out to the point of making myself sick. But my definition of “best” was dependent on my teacher’s perspective of “good.” By the end of each school year, I was exhausted. My friends missed me. I hadn’t made time to spend in God’s presence. I had nothing left to give, and I was unable to love those around me.

Trying to please people instead of God was a mistake. So this is now my prayer: God, I’m sorry for allowing the pressures of the world to steal my focus away from you. Help me do my best to honor you with all that I am and all that I do. Amen.

—Jori Hanna, 21

 

trust that you are enough

I place high expectations on myself. In school, I study with fervor to maintain a perfect GPA. In swimming, I train hard to better my times. In band, I practice until I can perform flawlessly. Because I expect perfection from myself, I often think that God expects the same. Yet God’s only expectation of me is that I be myself.

We might believe that we can be fulfilled by meeting certain standards of athleticism, intelligence, fame, and morality. But God desires that we embrace our spiritual gifts—God’s signature upon our lives. In the eyes of the world, we may never be enough. But we are more than enough for God.

—Hannah Beaven, 18

 

rest in God’s grace

In high school, my daily to-do list looked something like this:

  1. Work hard in class; complete homework; stay on track to be valedictorian.
  2. Use my position as the vocal captain to support the show choir director.
  3. Organize worship team practice, and lead youth group worship.

As I rushed around from commitment to commitment, from one leadership position to another, I soon added another item to the list: Be perfect. I thought that if the students I led or the adults who had entrusted me with leadership saw my weaknesses, then they would no longer trust me. I thought I had to be Superwoman, excelling at everything. So I didn’t ask for help when I needed it, and I beat myself up when I made a mistake.

But God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. God knows our weaknesses and still chooses to love us. Imagine how different our lives might be if we believed that God expects us simply to rest in God’s grace.

—Bekah Landfair, 21

 

DIG DEEPER

become what God expects

Sometimes we put our lives on autopilot and coast through life, doing just enough to get by without challenging ourselves or considering what we are working toward and who we want to be. We also tend to forget the One who gave us life and who sees the person we can become. Take some time this week to reflect on these questions: What are God’s expectations of me? Am I working to please God, or am I just getting through the week?

—Aly Mitchell, 22

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