And Then She Went All Beth Moore On Me

“Here’s the shocker,” Becky began.  She was reading out loud from a Beth Moore bible study she’s going through right now called Breaking Free. I was repainting a canvas for the millionth time and ready to finally take a break.  I laid the brush down and listened because Beth is a thorough scholar and a communicator whose words, more than once, have changed or confirmed my perspective. And because if Becky says I need to hear something I know she’s right.

“Here’s the shocker.  Not only can God’s children be oppressed, but we can become reliant on the oppression.  The word relied in verse 12 is the Hebrew word batach meaning “to attach oneself, to trust, confide in, feel safe.” The Hebrew word for oppression (oseq) indicates oppression by means of fraud or extortion…a thing “deceitfully gotten.”

I went to bed with a new kind of conversation in my head:

Is there a pattern of oppression in my life? Yes. Perfectionism, for starters.

What is the fraud of perfectionism? What’s the lie behind it? Creating something that is not world-class is embarrassing, a grave sin, shameful and means I’m worth less to somebody.

Why am I choosing to believe that lie?  What do I get out of it? How’s it working for me? What safety is there in that kind of slavery?

I’m sharing all this publicly – which is awkward for me and maybe you too – because I got an e-mail a few days ago from someone who thinks I’ve arrived, asking how they can too.  Sorry if I’ve ever led any of you to think I’m perfect.  I’m not.  Far from it.  None of us are or will be anytime soon.  But that’s not to stop us from evolving, growing, maturing further.  And for me that process most often looks like last night: Listening to people who are trustworthy, listening for myself and not for something I can use later to correct others, examining myself as honestly as I can in light of what’s been said, asking the teachers and myself questions.  Hard questions.  The hardest I can stand. Then acting on the answers.