About the Author

Bonnie Gray is the author of Sweet Like Jasmine, Whispers of Rest, wife, and mom to two boys. An inspirational speaker featured by Relevant Magazine and Christianity Today, she’s guided thousands to detox stress and experience God’s love through soul care, encouragement, and prayer. She loves refreshing your soul at...

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  1. Thank you, Bonnie. I needed this right now. I have stepped out in obedience to God in a very difficult situation and have been very ‘humanly’ criticized and misconstrued. Instead of agonizing how I could have ‘done better’ to prevent this (which may not have prevented others choosing their response anyway), I have chosen to revel in God and His wonderful love. It is our choice whether we get depressed or rejoice when tribulation comes. I choose joy even in pain (great challenge in some situations) and pray I will always be prepared to pay the price for obedience to Him – even when I it doesn’t go to ‘my plan of perfection’ regarding the outcome and the end result is pain. God requires us to be faithful and obedient no matter the cost. Perfection belongs to Him and Him alone. He sees far further and deeper than we ever can. What a GREAT God we serve.

    • Hi Ruth, so true. We can’t control how others respond to us, but we can rest in God’s love, always there to comfort and help us. May the understanding of a close friend be God’s heart and hands to you, as you pour out your heart and stories and feelings. Thank you for allowing us to be God’s heart for you, as you share this tender moment with us, Ruth. love, bonnie

  2. Bonnie,
    Oh how many years I’ve battle with perfectionism. The truth you share is right on point. What I’ve learned is that Perfectionism = Relying on ME. I used to think that striving for doing things perfectly and being perfect in God’s eyes was a good thing….what a LIE. Like you pointed out, we will NEVER be perfect on our own. We can’t strive, earn, perform well enough to earn God’s love or the approval of others. What we CAN do is accept that we are NOT PERFECT…..But….God loves us right smack dab in the middle of our imperfection. If we have accepted Christ as our Savior, God sees us as beautifully perfect through the blood of His Son, Jesus. Can’t get more perfect than that. Realizing that truth first has enabled me to become less self-sufficient and more God-sufficient. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me not through Bev who strives for perfection. Perfectionism is built on fear. Relying on God is built on a foundation of love. It’s been a lifetime of learning, but letting go of the perfectionism lie is one of the healthiest things I’ve done (and continue to do). Awesome post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Dear Bev, may your journey continue to touch others and give others the comfort of a friend who understands! have a beautiful day, bev, soaking in the autumn sunshine

  3. Yes! Let’s love ourselves and others as God loves us, now. His love doesn’t stop if we forget to turn the stove on, make a spelling mistake, or our audience is falling asleep. He wants us to step out and show how He is our strength in our weakness! Perfectionism gets me in how critical I can be of myself which is generally rooted in comparison. Your gentle, soul-bathing words are always refreshing Bonnie! Thank you.

    • yes, God’s love goes on (cue Titanic theme song)!! one time, a woman in the audience was yawning the entire time I spoke. I was thinking, Lord, she must be tired! Keep speaking and sharing! 🙂 lol it feels so much better when we can share our stories and then our imperfections turn out to be shared and God is near! xo love your heart and how you keep sharing your words, Lynn!! xo love, bonnie

  4. Thanks for the perfect timing on this, Bonnie! Overcoming perfectionism appears to be a running theme the Lord keeps putting in front of me! Appreciate your very practical wisdom for this tricky topic.

    • Thanks so much, Andrea! I hope it encouraged your heart. It just means you’re running close to what God’s put on your heart – and you’re at the center of being the true, beloved you!

  5. Hi, Bonnie~
    Thank you for sharing from your heart as to who you are and how you and God relate to each other. God’s love for you (and for each and every person He creates) is unfathomable! All we can do is bask in His love, accept His love, and share His love with each and every person we meet. Life is glorious, no matter what is happening in our lives! God is with us and loving us through it!

    I have a few thoughts on one of the lies mentioned above. “Lie: I’m not good enough. Truth: God loves what I am doing anyway!” There were times in my life when I was seriously sinning. I had rationalized that I had to do what I knew was wrong for a certain period of time–so it would have to be alright to do. God certainly didn’t love what I was doing. BUT, God loved me in spite of what I was doing because “I was HIS–He wasn’t going to let go of me–He wouldn’t let Satan have me.” (He told me this during a recent prayer time.) Jesus was right there with me, throughout my years of sinning, holding onto me, embracing me, loving me! I finally was convicted of my sin, and returned to Him weeping, asking for forgiveness. I carried the shame and guilt of this sin for 30 something years and was finally released from it 2 weeks ago when God spoke to me the above words. I was set FREE and my spirit soared!!! I am a new person today! God’s love is unconditional and so overwhelming!!! Alleluia!!!

    • Thank you so much, Angie, for adding to this post by sharing your voice, your story and your journey! wow. what a gift because there are women and sister-in-Christ who are resonating with what you’ve gained from your relationship with God. I’m SO happy for you – you deserve to feel as free, beautiful and beloved as you TRULY are, just as you are, as this very moment!! I’m cheering in my spirit with you, friend! YES. YES. and YES!!!! Gods love is AMAZING for you! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Wow. It’s good to know there’s someone like me out there, Bonnie. Do you ever struggle with ‘getting it right’? Something I’ve noticed is that sometimes God heals and removes the fear immediately and with a big show, but more often than not, He changes us slowly over time until we look back and realize we aren’t the same person we were. We can trust Him. Thank you. And thank you, Holy Spirit, for giving Bonnie the courage to share.

    • yes, there is!! I’m here, sweet kindred spirit! 🙂 and yes, emily, I do struggle with getting it right. It’s a sign that I must really care about whatever I’m obsessing over, and now, with practice with taking better care of myself, I realize whenever I get in that tussle of getting stuck trying to get it right, I just close my eyes and take the Love Dare! I just do it anyway, before I start convincing myself to forget it! 🙂 I hope you will enjoy my devotional Whispers of Rest, because I had to fill myself with lots of words of affirmation – just like the ones in today’s post. I think it’ll really encourage you the way it encouraged me!! See you in IG and FB , I’d love to keep sharing encouragement with you!

    • Sweet Heather, I’m SO happy that what encouraged my heart, touched yours too!! I hope you have a beautiful autumn day soaking up the sunshine, wherever you’re at! and I hope you feel as beautiful and beloved as you truly are, this very moment! love, bonnie

    • Sweet Kathy, I’m SO happy that what encouraged my heart, touched yours too!! I hope you have a beautiful autumn day soaking up the sunshine, wherever you’re at! and I hope you feel as beautiful and beloved as you truly are, this very moment! love, bonnie

  7. “I criticize myself, spiraling into feeling frozen and discouraged, whenever I feel inspired to try something new. My focus to overcome my flaws keeps me imprisoned in doubts.” Wow…yes, yes yes! I resonated so much with this, Bonnie. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks so much for sharing you resonate with this too, Christina!! I’m SO happy that what encouraged my heart, touched yours too!! I hope you have a beautiful autumn day soaking up the sunshine, wherever you’re at! and I hope you feel as beautiful and beloved as you truly are, this very moment! love, bonnie

  8. Bonnie,
    The voice of perfectionism always tries to stop me, too. I loved your perspective that hearing that voice isn’t always a bad thing because it means something new and real with Jesus is just around the corner. I needed that reminder today! Thank you all the verses, too!

  9. Bonnie,
    This question, “What if I started relying on God’s love for me rather than on how I feel about myself?”, is revolutionary for me. A true game changer. I have a few statements in my arsenal for when I start believing lies about myself. This question is going in there, maybe even written in lipstick on a few mirrors in my home.
    Thanks again for your words xo

  10. Bonnie,.
    You have taught us so much about soul care & loving ourselves as we are. I never thought of myself as a perfectionist. Just hard on myself. Mistakes would equate to “not good enough, smart enough, etc.” We must fight those flaming arrows with scripture. We aren’t perfect -NO one is except God Himself. We must quit striving to earn His love & do everything just right. Even King David & others in the Bible messed up big time! They didn’t get it right all the time. Yet God still loved them & called David “A Man After God’s Heart”. God loves us so much He rejoices over us with singing. We don’t need the world’s approval. It is fleeting. We need the applause & approval of Heaven. We will get it if we obey God no matter the circumstances.

    Blessings 🙂

  11. Hi Bonnie. Thank you for sharing God’s Word and His words to you. I have been struggling with a decision for a while. I’m a writer of inspirational romance novels. I also have a chronic illness that frequently incapacitates me. I’ve been saying to God; “What’s the point of carrying on. I’ve received 4 refusals so far. I guess I’m just not good enough. I’ve been asking God to show me if I should just quit it all, or keep trying. After reading this blog post I was sure the LORD was speaking to me…Keep trying. Keep trusting Me with it. So thank you very much for allowing God to speak through you, and for blogging. I blogged for a few years and it’s actually quite a lot of work. Thanks, Bonnie. May God’s richest blessings in Christ be poured out on you.

  12. I thought I had it all figured out but I was wrong, I hear people giving up on perfect all the time, the trouble is, His ways are perfect. So why don’t we listen to Him. He does want the best for us. I have had someone tell me I was perfect, not by a long shot, I just have a perfect Lord.