5/17 Your Conscience’s Measuring Sticks and Total Wholeness

In our last post, we began the discussion on the importance of surrendering our Conscience to our Creator, rather than blindling floowing the beliefs of our childhood.  Each part of our personality must learn this vital lesson; we weren’t meant to do this life journey alone!


Remember our previous discussion about how we judge and measure ourselves; that’s been the job of the Conscience.  Remember though where those measuring sticks have come from?  …… Childhood, the way others saw us and how we took in what they said.

1.  ‘Perfectionism’ is that feeling we have when the best we are at something still isn’t good enough.  We can feel discouraged, hopeless and useless.  When we don’t meet those needs, we can set us up for endless patterns of doing things and still feeling a failure – which drives us to try harder and harder to win other’s approval or their love.

Perfectionism is really about expectations, striving and judgement.  It’s about taking those inner rules we have learned and beating ourselves up if we haven’t reached the mark.  For each of us, it can be a different blend of goals but it’s usually the same roots of the problem.

2. What do you use to set the standard of failure and success? 

If we allow others to set that measuring stick, they don’t really know us.  If we apply our own – often unrealistic – measuring stick, what are we using to judge ourselves … and set the consequences when we fail to meet that level of perfection?

If we don’t face this issue through, we can become caught in cycles of trying harder, personal judgement, perfectionism and unreal expectations as we reach toward unmet needs and unattainable goals.

3.  For most of us, reaching up to that perfect line is very hard work. 

If we haven’t built the measuring stick for ourselves, other around us seem to want to build it for us with their expectations.

For the parent, there is never enough time to do everything perfect the way we’d like it.  For a student, the study is never hard enough to sufficiently get the marks we want.  As a child, everyone has demands and restrictions.

4.  Self-effort just makes more cycles.

Often all these expectations produce is more cycles and more withdrawal of other’s love unless we get it right.  Part of renewing the Conscience is to see that those views are not reality.  The only ‘reality’ is how our Creator sees us and how He wants us to live in harmony.


Paul’s moment of surrender came on the road to Damascus (it took a mighty shock to get through!).  For all of us, there is that one moment to decide to surrender and then there is the practice of surrender which is a moment by moment and lifetime attitude.

1.  Letting go of control can be a very scary possibility but that is the only path to deal with perfectionism. 

As a child, we ‘internalize’ the criticisms and judgements of others as though they were truth.  We then activate our conscience and we can become our worst critics.  If we don’t uphold what the inner critic says, we will even get mad at ourselves for not doing well enough even when we know the standard is far too high.

2.  Surrender means seeing you have help with the driving force of the Conscience.

As Rick Warren, in his book The Purpose Driven Life, puts it, “The trouble with a living sacrifice is that it can crawl off the alter”.  If we want to follow Jesus, we must give up the things the self-centred part of me wants.  We are not in the ‘Driver’s Seat’ any more – not that we really ever were.  That is what ‘Dying to Self’ really means – those little and big choices where we let Him direct us.

3.  Your self-judgement and criticism won’t disappear overnight.

It is more of a constant journey than that.  Since we have practiced this since childhood, some habits are so ingrained they take longer to remove.  As we become aware of that inner voice, we can begin to choose to respond differently.  Each step is part of the healing.

Letting go of the false expectations, wrong goals, personal judgements and self-criticisms, we can re-evaluate what is truly important to us.  We enter a new process o renewing our minds to match the one Truth and really begin to enjoy life as the Creator intended.

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author  





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