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Perfectionism is insidious, coloring every part of our lives. It’s the belief that I am what I do, and what I do must be perfect or I am worthless. Often, religion appeals greatly to perfectionists, as there’s a list of do’s and don’t’s that they can follow – or attempt to. The problem is that we are not able to do anything perfectly all the time, so we are doomed to failure.
Perfectionism is often seen in people who are rigidly controlling of their environments and themselves. Sometimes, that control reaches out to the people around them as well. There’s always a dissatisfaction in what they’ve done because it should have been better. There’s little grace for less than optimal performance or circumstances.
Perfectionists tend to be your classic overachievers. And it’s a twisting of a natural gifting for excellence. Excellence is the pursuit of a higher level of ability, skill, etc., but it’s from the position of one who’s loved and who knows their identity is not based on success or failure.
With perfectionism, there’s a loss of identity, or perhaps that identity was never there to begin with. Maybe our behavior was the only thing we were praised for, or the only thing that received any comment whatsoever. So we gain the belief that it’s what we do that matters and what is valued.
It can be caught as well as taught. Often we learn perfectionism from our parents or those around us, not because they actively teach us, but through how they live their lives. They have perfectionism, so they teach it to us.
It’s my observation and belief that perfectionism is tied at least in part to an orphan spirit and mentality. Orphans have to struggle to make their own way and prove their worth. They have to claw their way to the top and make people respect and love them. You don’t have to be an actual orphan to operate as one.
Perfectionism can also make trying new or different things very threatening, as the chances of a less than perfect performance is so high. Some people who struggle in this way stagnate, only doing what they know they can do.
Some stay hidden in some way. Perhaps there’s a “failure to launch” when a young person doesn’t move forward in their lives as they should. They don’t pursue independence and adult responsibilities out of fear of failure. (Note, I’m not talking about living at home due to finances or whatever the case may be. It’s not the living situation as much as the ability to grow and mature.)
Instead of the overachiever, the person underachieves. They know that they can’t do it perfectly, so they won’t try to do it at all.
Father, I come before You this day because I need your help to access the freedom Jesus purchased for me on the Cross from perfectionism. I take authority over myself, my space, and my will and I submit myself to You so I can agree with You completely where ever You lead me through this process. I remove all coverings over content and cut off all enemy access, placing everything into Jesus’ hands. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to gather up and bind all warfare that would seek to hinder me from getting free from perfectionism or any other issue. Please send the angelic support I need.
I repent of all enemy rights and agreements and suspend them and all areas of access he has to me. I place them into Jesus’ hands to keep during my work. Thank You, Father, for Your provision and protection.
I ask You, Holy Spirit, for any blessings I need as I do this work. I ask for an anointing of power and authority as I address this issue. Please give me clarity of thought and intention and a breakthrough in healing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
As you may be aware, the sins of our ancestors can have a very negative impact on our lives. First, their sin gives the enemy access to us, and second, it becomes the pattern of how life happens within our family so we may not know there is another option for behavior, or realize how unhealthy our family patterns are. We all have generational issues and generational patterns which are less than ideal, so it isn’t just you.
Before I go any further, I want to emphasize that you are not responsible for your ancestor’s sin. You are only responsible for your own sins. What the generational piece does is to add a pressure or weight which increases the likelihood you may sin in a particular area. We have a choice wether or not we enter into the sin, but even if we don’t, the generational piece seems to make the fight against sin more difficult than it needs to be.
I discuss generational work more completely here and here, so if this is all new to you, you might want to stop and review that post. I also have a class which goes into more depth about specific types of generational issues and how to break them. You can find it here.
To clear the enemy’s access to us because of generational issues, we do what we call identificational repentance. This is where you repent on behalf of a larger groupyou‘re part of, in this case your family. Again, you are not saying you are guilty of those sins, unless you are, but you are standing in the gap for your family to remove the access the enemy has on you and your bloodline.
The following is a sample prayer to walk through step by step, but this is also the perfect time to practice listening prayer. Only the Holy Spirit knows the full effects of this generational piece on your life, so listen carefully to His voice as you walk through this process and pray additional items as He leads you. You might want to read through the prayer first and then make a note of anything the Holy Spirit wants you to add before you begin, or stop and pray each as you go.
Identificational repentance can be done on behalf of any group that you are a part of or identify with. It’s not only your family. In all cases, it’s not that you’re saying you personally have participated in whatever it is you’re repenting on behalf of, but because you are a part of the larger group, you can stand in the gap for the group at large. You can think in terms of culture, race, denomination, role in society, gender, position, occupation, etc. For example, I’ve done identificational repentance for clients on behalf of church leadership even though I wasn’t a part of the church the client was hurt by, but because I have held positions of leadership within the church. It’s a powerful tool that you can use to set others free as well as yourself.
- I confess that my ancestors committed the sin of perfectionism, believing that what we do is our identity. Through this, we allowed the enemy access to my bloodline. I repent on each person’s behalf for committing this sin and allowing the enemy access to us. And I forgive them. I also confess and repent on behalf of myself and every other member of my bloodline who has entered into the sin of perfectionism including associated sins of control, manipulation, fear, and orphan mentality.
- I choose to forgive myself and all of those in my bloodline who have committed the sin of perfectionism or who have influenced me to participate in this sin, and for the consequences of that sin in my life. (Specifically name anyone the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.)
- I ask You to forgive me, Jesus, for coming into agreement with this issue and for committing any and all of these sins. I receive Your forgiveness and I choose to forgive myself for entering into this issue and for all the effects it has had on my life.
- I revoke any and all agreements with perfectionism on my behalf, and as far as I’m able on behalf of all of those in my bloodline. I revoke any agreements made by myself or my family with the entities of perfectionism or any others affiliated with this in any way or under their authority. I revoke all of their rights to me and my entire bloodline past, present, and future from this time forward.
- I gather up all of these entities and agreements and I cast them to the cross of Jesus. I place the blood of Jesus between all of that and myself and my entire bloodline. I reverse and correct all the effects of perfectionism in my life and in the lives of my family.
- On behalf of my family, I receive the freedom Jesus Christ bought for me when He died on the cross and rose again defeating all the works of the enemy. I receive His courage and identity and choose to listen to what He says about who I am. (This is an excellent time to pause and listen to what else God wants to give you. Write them down to meditate on later.)
One of the things generational issues does, is not only pressure you to sin, but it also blocks the rightful inheritance the Lord has for your bloodline. Not only do I want you to be free from the enemy’s torment, but I also want it to release you into ALL the Lord has for you.
You may have an idea of what your inheritance should have been, or you may not. Either way, you can ask the Lord to reveal to you what the inheritance is, and how you can access it. The book Accessing Your Spiritual Inheritance goes into this in much more depth than I can here. In short, ask God for dreams and visions, and then ask Him to go with you into those areas and follow His lead on what to do. This may be easier to do after you’ve completed all the steps in this set of blog posts. So if you’re not making progress here, then make a note to come back and return to this after we’ve finished this series.
Father, I ask You to set Your seal upon the work I have and will be doing regarding generational issues. I believe that You are faithful to continue this work and bring me to greater and greater realms of healing and wholeness. I cancel any and all curses, devices, or assignments of the enemy and break off any retaliation in the Name of Jesus. I seal all doors and windows in the spirit with Jesus’ blood and thank You and praise You for Your protection. Please minister to me as my system adjusts to this new level of healing and wholeness and comes into alignment with Your design.