“He is a perfectionist.” The first time I heard that in describing a person, I wasn’t sure if it was a compliment or an insult. After mulling the phrase over for a couple of decades, I’ve come to realize that so called “perfectionists” have to be sorely disappointed. No person, no family, or job is ever perfect.
The idea of perfectionism is a hateful lie, standing before us, as if to offer entrance into a world where the impossible becomes possible. Like on television, we picture a seemingly doable vision of a perfect life. Though imitated by actors, we become convinced that we can live like the characters they play. The lack of “perfect” holds many hostage to ongoing discouragement. It’s what I call the “I’ll be happy when….” phase. “I”ll be happy when I’m rich, married, or divorced. How about when I get that big title, or when I get the recognition I deserve. Better yet, when God makes His plan for me obvious.” Perfectionism is often the shaming voice that talks us out of enjoying anything. It’s a manipulative lie that steals our joy.
Years later, I discovered Psalm 18, verses 30-33. It says:
As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.”
Wait. God says He will make my way perfect? I don’t know about you, but I could use a good dose of perfect in every part of my life. My Trust in the Bible gave new meaning to a word I’d come to dislike. Not only is it attainable, it’s a promise! God’s ways are perfect, and He says he will make our way perfect. Wow! Time to reconsider the endless possibilities.
If God is leading and I’m following, that means I will be on His path for my life, living out His purposes for me. That puts me in the center of God’s plan for me. It’s when I give up my plans and surrender to His, that perfect becomes possible. Often I start my day with a simple prayer. “OK Lord. Today, make my way perfect.” This certainly takes the pressure off me to have all the answers.
Perfect? God is, as are His plans. Perfect becomes possible when we surrender our plans and purposes to God.
Perfectionism, and how to become perfect. Today’s pick of the day.