The Thief Called Perfectionism

January 10, 2022

It’s a new year! Many of us have written out our lists of hopeful accomplishments, anticipating bigger and better things for our lives.

In our quests to lose weight, draw closer to God, or set out to change the world, we start out with great ambition. However, without even realizing it, we find ourselves sabotaging our own efforts in a few different ways.

One of those ways is by setting too many goals in front of us. Another is by not being specific about what we want to do. Both of these can easily be remedied by focusing on 3 or 4 main goals, and making them more specific: lose 15 pounds by July, read 3 chapters of the Bible each week, or volunteer for a local organization we feel passionate about.

The main issue we want to focus on, though, is our self-sabotaging habit of perfectionism.

We know we need to do our best in the areas we want to achieve more, but one problem with perfectionism is that no matter how good our best is, we will convince ourselves it is not good enough.

Perfectionism can be described as the belief that anything less than absolute perfection is unsatisfactory and not acceptable.

Friends, we are capable of so much more when we focus on our goals but remember that we are functioning through a human, fleshly body. We get tired. We get weak. Without accepting our humanness, perfectionism will destroy our every effort, resulting in the death of many dreams, visions, goals, and accomplishments.

In Philippians 3:14, Paul said, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

2 Peter 3:18 says, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…”

When we see people practicing or instructing others to do greater things in their spiritual walks, we see words like “press” and “grow.”

Additionally, in Hebrews 12:1, we’re instructed to “…lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

Our spiritual goals should be our greatest priority, but our Biblical guidance can also be applied to our earthly goals and desires. What is beautiful is that following God’s spiritual guidance can shape the rest of what we desire to do.

Perfectionism says, “You didn’t lose 15 pounds by your goal date.” Pressing and growing says, “No, but I lost 12 and am still working on the rest!”

Perfectionism says, “You haven’t read your Bible in 10 days.” Pressing and growing says, “No, but I’ve read 3 chapters a week for the past 3 months, and will get back on track today!”

Perfectionism says, “You haven’t changed the world yet.” Pressing and growing says, “No, but I’ve started volunteering once a week and am learning more ways to impact my community!”

Let us make the effort to do great things and let us give ourselves some grace if we fall short.

Perfectionism is not our friend. It’s time we throw that negativity away, get up, and get moving!


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