[featured on Perissos 7/6/16]
I distinctly remember walking into a dentist appointment thinking, “I want to be this hygienist’s favorite patient ever.” I already flossed and brushed my teeth, gargled, and blotted my lipstick. I smiled broadly, asked and answered questions, complimented her technique, and thanked her for her hard work. I left with a new toothbrush and a sense of accomplishment.
Before I went home to cook the best dinner ever for my husband and friends, I interacted with the cashier at the store, tollbooth attendant, and neighbor the same way.
I did everything I could to be the best customer, toll-payer, and neighbor they ever had. I wondered if they would go home and tell their families, “You’ll never believe how great this lady was today!”
For my husband’s birthdays I would brainstorm a million ways to show him lavish love. I’d cover all 5 Love Languages – big gift, very long letter full of loving words, celebratory physical touch, sacrificial service, and lots of uninterrupted quality time. There could be no doubt I was a great wife. Was I the best wife?
I’d look in the mirror while shopping, tilt my head and smile holding up a dress. I wanted to be the prettiest girl at the party. A quick inventory of flaws that couldn’t be fixed without surgery made that an unreachable goal. So I modified: the prettiest girl with red hair? The prettiest married girl? The prettiest girl in her 30s?
Performance reviews at work? It was like report card time! I loved it. They laid out expectations and I exceeded them. It just took working 20 extra hours a week. I hoped they thought I was the best consultant. Or maybe the best consultant in Chicago. Or the best one on our floor? Or the best one that used to work in nonprofits?
Every time I read the Bible I found more expectations, which I worked so hard to meet. In my performance reviews/prayer time with God I would track my progress, confess sins and remind him of my growing successes. I really wanted to be God’s favorite. Maybe not his favorite believer ever, of course, but who was trying harder? Maybe his favorite Christian at my work? Or favorite on my street? Or…
I was in a season of striving to “be a blessing.” I researched hours before leading Bible studies and wrote lots of additional questions. I befriended my consulting clients and teammates with lots of off-the-clock hanging out. I watched other people’s kids and made meals for hurting families at church. I remembered everyone’s birthdays before they happened. I hosted parties and dinners and out of town guests. I asked myself, “What Would Jesus Do?” The answer was always “More.” So I did more….
Continue reading on Perissos…
- The End of Pretending – being a Christian is different than we think
- Don’t Touch My Face – grace
- This is What I’ve Got – we can only give God what we’ve got
©Aimee Fritz & Family Compassion Focus, 2016.