Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Curse of the Perfectionist

So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?  So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. Galatians 3:5-9

Ever since I was a child I have always been a perfectionist. I felt that everything that I truly cared about doing had be done perfectly.

Some might think that this is a gift and a curse but I don’t think so. I think it is only a curse. Perfectionism is a form of bondage. You become a slave to whatever the task at hand might be. You can’t let go of it until it has met some impossible standard of greatness. There are many a great artistic expressions, product, or service that has remained tucked away, gathering dust in the mind of a perfectionist who cannot let go.

Any effort to live up to a perfect standard is doomed to failure. This is because we cannot hope to achieve perfection no matter how hard we try. We are inherently flawed and as such the works of our hands are flawed as well.

This redemption that Paul is talking about is powerful to me. The notion to live our lives by faith rather than by perfect adherence to laws is nothing short of liberating. Living by faith gives us the freedom to see the standard set before us and strive for it knowing that we can pick ourselves up no matter how hard we fall. It allows us to take more chances, to fully walk the paths toward our purpose without fear of failure.

Failure becomes redefined. It is no longer a catastrophic end to a glorious story; but rather it becomes a minor detour or setback; an opportunity to learn and grow stronger with the next steps that we decide to take.

So what then is the responsibility of the faithful? Those who decide to live their lives by faith must never give up. We must never fail to get up when we fall. We must strive for the full realization of the purpose of our lives, to fully self-actualize.

We’ll never become what we were meant to be if we keep parts of ourselves tucked away. Live life to the fullest! Enjoy every single day as an opportunity to be better than you were the day before. Be bold in action and humble in heart.

This way we can fully enjoy our triumphs and truly learn from our failures. 


  1. Great post and so true. And the great news is we have a Savior who picks us up... as long as we let Him!

    "Failure isn't falling down. It's staying down."

  2. So real what you said about "as long as we let him." We really are the ones who get in our own way for the most part.

  3. Isn't that the big battle most/all of us? Letting God be God in our lives instead of trying to fill that role ourselves?

  4. Yes i agree. The fact that we must relinquish control to truly be free is a great paradox of life. That is something that I know I have struggled with.

  5. I am always fabulous in emergencies....the go to girl if strong, positive action is necessary...but put me in the cereal aisle, in front of all those boxes...and I get paralyzed! We are such funny creatures.

  6. @Paula haha yeah that is funny. I'm the same way. I've driven more than a few folk crazy who have gone any kind of shopping with me.


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