I read recently how black bears cleverly walk in the footprints left by other bears that have lumbered the same path before them. Over and over, they use the same tracks – sometimes leaving patterns that last for years. I’m sure they do this for many reasons but one reason is to avoid making noise…even the smallest noise of cracking twigs that might alert prey. Of course, early fur trappers and even modern day game wardens have often used this habit to fool a black bear. Following tracks and paths that seem familiar – even safe – has led many a bear straight into a snare or trap.
How easy it is to find ourselves in a snare. So often trapped before we even realize what happened. Our enemy – the devil – is the master of setting traps. So subtle. So clever and so deceiving. Very often, his traps lead us to sin but just as deceving are the hidden paths that lead us to defeat.
Comparison is an ugly trap. This one not only discourages me but, way too often, totally defeats my best intentions or desires and leaves me not wanting to do anything. Exactly how the enemy wants me. (And, how is it that I can so quickly fall into the same trap over and over again??!) Consumerism and the chronic need for more is a trap. So is legalism. The list is endless but this post, particularly, is about the trap of perfectionism.
The path that leads to perfectionism is subtle and, often hard to detect. Wanting to do our best or wanting to represent Christ with our best are good goals. But wanting perfection can also become an excuse not to move forward. Or not to obey or follow God’s will. When this happens, we are wrong. And we have taken the bait, so to speak, for the devil’s snare.
I have found myself heading for this trap (too often) lately. This blog is only one example – but it is a good one. I recently migrated over to WordPress. I had someone do the “migrating” – or moving – for me but had absolutely no idea how challenging it would be for me to get my new site to look the way I wanted. I spent hours trying to learn how to perform the simplest tasks. And – I decided I would not write, post or basically enjoy blogging until this new site was – well, perfect. Defeat. Not only defeat but, most likely, not what God intended when He led me to begin this blog.
The subtle traps laid by the enemy might be totally different for you. No matter his tricks, we need to examine our paths carefully. Be alert. Be mindful and be diligent to stay on the path our Heaveny father has for us. I will continue working to get the look I want for this blog. That might take forever (sigh) but, in the meantime, I will continue to post and, prayerfully, walk in paths that lead to joy and blessing.