I've been reading interesting blogs and books on habits—breaking bad ones, forming new ones. I spend a good bit of time, too, on contemplating all that God wants me to be, and how He wants to bring me to that place. However, I still do things that I know are counterproductive to my desired state of being. And I don't do things that I know will help me become who God and I both want me to be.
Recently my son was telling me about research in the field of psychology that he had come across. Someone was testing to see the effect of "perfectionism" on "shopping addiction." The question was: Do people keep shopping because they are perfectionists and want themselves and their surroundings to be "perfect?"
What I gathered from what I was told was that, yes, "perfectionism" might have an effect on "shopping." However, it was mediated by "mental distress." People over-shopped because of mental distress, and that distress came from being "perfectionistic."
I found the information interesting, but not particularly profound, at first. However, when I woke up the next morning and contemplated the dream I had just woken from, all sorts of bells were ringing and connections being made in my brain.
I have made it through quite a few "distressing" situations lately with the use of a "biblical mantra" that I have adopted for those times—"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" (Isaiah 26:3, ESV). And there you have it! We do not necessarily do counterproductive things simply because we are weak-willed. God knows that all sorts of things about living in this world distress us, and He knows that we will reach for something to make us feel better when that happens.
However, He is the antidote. Taking from Him with our conscious minds and thoughtful time, will give us what we need to cope with whatever distresses.
Instead of going to Him with our thoughts, we tend to beat ourselves up for our weakness, and "try to do better" so that He can reward us.
When will I get it through my mind that He is the "means" and not just the "reward giver?"
© Kathy Beagles Coneff