1/27/09

Conditional Perfectionism

Boy do I mess up sometimes. I guess most of you will understand that, but have you faced up to the heart of it? We can't be perfect, no matter how hard we try. Perfection is the art of covering up enough of your imperfections to represent a false reality. The result of appearing perfect is a tightly wound inside, with occasional explosions blaring out the truth: You are not perfect!

Yikes and sigh. How is one to overcome this tendency to either strive for perfection or the complete opposite of letting "it" all hang out? Is there a healthy middle ground? The answer is a definite "yes," with conditions.

Condition 1: Admit imperfections to God and one significant other (whether that be a friend or spouse)

Condition 2: Find out what pleases God and stick to it. I will often be in God's will for my life and still strive to move outside of it thinking that I should be doing more.

Condition 3: If being perfect is not a problem for you, maybe laziness is. My stumbling block is that I want everything to be perfect, but when it's not humanly possible, I'll throw my towel in and let everything go towards chaos.

My ideals for perfection might be a lot like yours: I never want to make mistakes in front of my kids; I want a beautiful, spotless home; I want a husband who only sees the best parts of me.

The Bible has an interesting perspective on how we should be. This may mean that we reorganize our priorities and focus on the God-things that matter the most. That way, God is doing His best through us and we are being perfected in Christ. Psalm 15:

1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
3 Those who refuse to gossip
or harm their neighbors
or speak evil of their friends.
4 Those who despise flagrant sinners,
and honor the faithful followers of the Lord,
and keep their promises even when it hurts.
5 Those who lend money without charging interest,
and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.

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