Chiming in this week a little bit later than I thought. I was delayed because I wanted to get my response as perfect as I could.
Joking…but only halfway. Let me start with a question. Where does perfectionism come from? Inherent or learned? Are we born with a bent toward perfect? Or is it demanded from us? As a parent of two wonderful girls striving for perfection, I wonder if it was in our gene pool or our daily conversations.
I have found that the drive was within me as far back as I can remember and is as persistent within me as my desire for peanut butter and chocolate. Both of these desires are good, unless they are allowed to get out of hand. I remember back to when I got my first supervisory position and a good friend of mine gave me his advice, “Remember, that perfection is the downfall of good enough.” That friend was an orthopedic surgeon and I asked him to set that advice aside when he was doing my knee surgery. My point is that perfection has its place. I wouldn’t want to drive a car that was only good enough or fly with a pilot who felt that perfectionism was overrated. But at the same time, I realize that perfection can get out of control. It can cause us to become obsessive, driven, despondent and even lead to failure. Especially if you are striving to succeed at something you are not gifted at or impassioned about.
Many of us are like salmon swimming upstream in water we try desperately to enjoy. If only we could find a stream running in our direction then our efforts and focus wouldn’t seem so laborious.Our mindset and attitudes would be different. And our sense of accomplishment would be higher. But, would we be satisfied?
Let me ask you. Are you content with the life you are living? Or, are you constantly trying to tweak yourself and your surroundings? Trying to be all that you can be and more in an attempt to be satisfied, to find joy in the situation. Did you ever think that maybe the drive within you to find perfection is actually your need for God?
“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30).
“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (Psalm 18:32).
”Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14).
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
Giving yourself over to Jesus, Now that’s a perfect plan.
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