It sounds so good to call ourselves perfectionists. We have higher standards than most people. We go for excellence. We don’t tolerate mistakes. Nothing mediocre about us. Nosirree. Only the best is good enough for us and our Lord.
It sounds good but it may be as self-destructive as anything you can do to yourself.
You are not capable of perfection. Maybe in typing a letter or baking a blueberry pie, you are. But not in a single one of the really big issues of life.
Men, you cannot be a perfect son, brother, husband, or father.
Women, you will never be a perfect daughter, sister, wife, or mother.
The pastor cannot be a perfect shepherd of God’s flock. The church member will never fulfill his/her duties perfectly.
There is a major factor of human existence which you and I must take into consideration in every aspect of life: there is a flaw in us. You are a sinner; I am a sinner. We were, we are, and we will continue to be so long as we are alive on earth.
As if that’s not bad enough, we live in a fallen world. Among other things, that means that everyone else is in the same situation as us. “There is no righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10, quoting from Psalm 14 and 53).
When Isaiah was given a clear glimpse of himself, he saw two things that rocked him to his core: he was a man of “unclean lips,” meaning an unworthy heart; and what must have been infinitely more depressing to him, everyone around him was in the same boat (Isaiah 6:5).
We are all failures in life. Starting with the first couple who arrived on this planet fresh from the Father’s hands, no one has earned all A’s in righteousness on the divine report card. As God said to the Babylonian king, “You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting” (Daniel 5:27).
That’s true of all of us. We have all “sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
So, where did this inner yearning to be perfect come from? And, isn’t it a noble thing to strive for the best we can give, to hit a standard of excellence?
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