Monday, February 25, 2013

Perfect grace for an imperfect perfectionist

I set a goal for myself of 10 blog posts on 10 days.

I got to day 4 and failed.

Not because I didn't have time.  Not because I didn't have anything to write about.

But because I am a perfectionist.

Perfectionism is something that I've wrestled with for years.

In many areas of my life it has been a huge positive.  I have applied it to the fullest extent in terms of accomplishing things that I never thought I could, and completing tasks that were impossible.

I have a high value for quality and doing things right.

Those are good aspects of being a perfectionist.

But those ambitions pushed to the extreme can be negative.

I have put more pressure on myself than I should have in some situations.  I can be overly critical of myself and become terribly frustrated when a goal is not met.

Here is what wikipedia says...

Perfectionism, in psychology, is a personality disposition characterized by an individual striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others' evaluations. It is best conceptualized as a multidimensional characteristic, as psychologists agree that there are many positive and negative aspects.[3] In its maladaptive form, perfectionism drives individuals to attempt to achieve an unattainable ideal, and their adaptive perfectionism can sometimes motivate them to reach their goals. In the end, they derive pleasure from doing so. When perfectionists do not reach their goals, they often fall into depression.

At the core of the matter, I feel that by continually striving for perfection is to continually reject the gift of grace that is extended to me, through Jesus.

Of course, when it comes to salvation, I know that I am saved by grace alone.  However, as I look at my life, I can see a lot of areas where I am not living like I am saved by grace alone.

The actions in my life reflect the belief that what I do, is more important than what has already been done for me on the cross.

Why do I reject the gift, and why does the the concept of grace rub me the wrong way at times.... because I want to think that I can do it all, on my own.

How many times will I fail, before I realize I can't do it all on my own?

If I truly could grasp and live in the world of grace, how freeing of a life would that be?

When will I see that the only thing that is truly perfect is God's grace extended to me?

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* I did not reach 'perfection' in completing 10 blog entries in 10 days.  But even though I've already 'failed' my goal, because I am posting this now (as opposed to not at all), I am taking one small baby step attempt at battling perfectionism! *

(picture taken from:


Jess and Andrea said...
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Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this! I needed to hear it tonight!


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