Puny Perfection


Is there anyone who doesn’t like perfection in some way or another? It may not be that you desire a super organized office, your clothes folded a certain way, or that you require perfection of everyone around you. Maybe, like myself, you desire to have your life already figured out. Maybe you require perfection from yourself.

I’m in a weird stage of life (although I’m pretty sure I will always consider the current stage a weird stage). I can’t recall one special thing about myself when asked by someone. I don’t know exactly what I want my life to look like. The plans I had in high school and college were much simpler in my dreams than they are to carry out now. I’m often caught within the mindset of trying to do what everyone else expects of me and trying to discern what exactly I want to do.

It’s frustrating- to the point of ugly tears, angry words, and the feeling of being lost frustrating.

A few days ago, my husband and I took the dogs for a walk. I said hurtful things. I made accusations. Not because of any pressure he’s put on me, but because of this perfectionism I somehow trapped myself in. I told him how I don’t feel like I have a place at our new home state. I have no time to make new friends or do anything because I’m constantly working, driving to and from work, or trying to keep our house in order. He asked, “Why does it have to be in order?”

Good question.

That’s when I realized I had been putting needless pressure on myself. Our house doesn’t have to be super clean or the laundry always done for our house to be livable.

Perfection is an endless pursuit… Perfection looks within ourselves to find joy and happiness and always comes up lacking. Excellence looks to Jesus to find wholeness and satisfaction.”

Gretchen Saffles, Proverbs 31: Women of Dignity, Washed in Grace

I had been measuring my self-worth up against this crazy notion of perfection; a quality I really couldn’t have defined if you asked me.

I’m learning perfection is not the goal. Instead, I should be aiming for excellence- doing my best at whatever it is I’m doing.

When I remove my focus from myself and everything I want to do and turn to look at God, my problems shrink. I realize how big He is and how little my current struggles are in the presence of the King. I then start to wonder what it is He would like me to do.

How can I live out the gospel? How can I love? What do You want me to do? What things can I do that will last longer than the earth? 

I don’t have all the answers. I can’t tell anyone how to live, even if my arrogance thinks it can. Sometimes I can’t even figure out how I want to live! But, I know my pursuit for perfection is pretty puny when it’s measured up to a truly perfect God.

If you’re struggling as I am, I encourage you to read Revelations 4 and 5. Close your eyes, imagine what your response would be in the presence of what you just read. Talk to God. Don’t ask for anything. Just talk to Him.

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