06.17.10 | | Comments
Perfection. Does it haunt you? Is it something you strive for but can’t obtain? Does it feel like an inner drive for excellence, helping you achieve your personal best? Or does it rule and stifle you because you can never measure up?
Perfectionism can be your greatest strength or your greatness weakness. As I learn about myself and observe other people, I realize the need for balance in every character trait. Good things taken to the extreme can ultimately be a detriment. I'm not advocating complacency or lukewarm attitudes - be passionate! However, don't let the means overrule the end goal. In this case, the end goal is to be like Christ. I don't know what to call this inner drive toward perfectionism. It seems like some people have very little of it, while others are consumed by it.
A friend of mine recently shared his struggles with perfectionism. He desires to do everything so perfectly, that in the end, he does nothing at all out of fear he’ll never measure up. I struggle there too. “I can't do it, so why try?” WHY try?
Learning is a part of life and so is making mistakes. We learn and develop strength by God’s grace. When we fail, God reveals weakness and seals our cracks with his Holy Spirit. What an amazing testament to God's glory! I don’t want anything obstructing that glory, namely perfectionism. God doesn't want our works - He wants our hearts. And when we realize that truth, the Lord can use us to the maximum!
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1. Cor 10:31
"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men" Col. 3:23
God wants our personal best. But sometimes our standards are higher than His! He simply asks for our hearts and our all, not our perfection! While praying about this, the Lord led me to this scripture. It really rocked my world.
"To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless." Psalm 119:96
For us, perfection has limitations. Striving to push past these boundaries can seriously hinder our lives! But His commands are boundless and they ARE life.
"It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy." Rom. 9:16
"But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Matt. 9:13
None of us can measure up – ever. And that’s more than okay! Perfection is not God’s standard. If it were, Christ wouldn’t have come to set us free.
Does perfectionism rule you or do you use those tendencies to push yourself into working heartily unto the Lord? When used correctly, a healthy drive can produce excellence in character and in work, which all together reflects the glory of the Lord.
Perfectionism - To rule you OR to reflect Him?