Perfection. Some worship it like a god, others shun it like a disease. It’s a paradox ringing in my ears all day long, paralyzing me from getting anything done. And that’s not the worst of it: failure soon follows. The two are a constant companion, like hero and villain. You must choose a side. There is no in-between. As much as you try to find a balance, you usually fall to one side or the other.
The more we strive for perfection, the more failure we get. But even if we do somehow grab hold of perfection, in that fleeting moment the emptiness still bleeds within us. Something’s missing. This isn’t working.
And so we peel ourselves off the bed, brew strong coffee, and try again.
Will it never end?
Even the simplest tasks become mountainous problems when accompanied by the need for perfection. What recipe should I make for dinner? How do I make the most of my time? How do I improve my work at my job? How do I save money? Are my talents worth anything?
The one I think about the most is this: Have I failed God for not praying or reading the Bible lately?
I tend to pace and hold my breath when I’m nervous. Or I’ll just shut down and binge-watch something on Youtube. Better not to try than to try and fail miserably.
Until recently, I hadn’t realized just HOW much I didn’t try. My “comfort zone” was a very small box. I avoided almost anything that I thought would make a single footprint on life. I’ll stay inside here, thanks. It’s safe here.
That’s what I think this drive for “perfection” is. It’s a box of protection. It’s a comfort zone. Because as soon as you step out of it, then you are forced to accept failure. With failure comes hurt–hurting friends, family, or even yourself.
But does this mean wanting perfection is a bad thing?
Nope! We were made for perfection. We were made to be safe. That drive is engrained in the makeup of our very soul. It’s apart of who we are. The problem is, we will not get it in fullness until heaven.
So how do we live in this scary world of hurt and failure? How do we aim for perfection but accept the opposite from time to time?
Some would say that it is “easier said than done.” I beg to differ. I have found the secret. Ready? Come closer. Closer.
This world’s definition of perfection and failure can never define who you really are. Whatever comes, God always makes it beautiful–like a bouquet of roses to crown your hair (Psalm 139, Isaiah 62:5, Lam. 3:22:23).
It struck me one day how much I was trying to drum up enough fear and anxiety just so I could force myself to sit down and read my Bible. Is that why God wants me to read it? Because of fear of failure?
Wouldn’t he rather just spend time with me for the fun of it? Because he loves me?
That’s why my husband does, and my family, and my friends. How could God be any different?
Next time I read my Bible, I’ll remember it is not so I can “get it right this time.” It’s because I’m beautiful and I want to spend time with my Daddy.
And no matter where I go in life, he will always keep me safe. He is Perfect, and that’s all I need.
I hope you found this inspiring and encouraging! What’s your favorite passage of scripture to talk with God about?