Combating perfectionism

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Scripture for today: 1 Cor. 1: 27

If you battle perfectionism, the following may be of assistance.

Consider the success of imperfect people in the Bible. One of the main things I’ve learned from the Bible over the years is that God uses faulty people to accomplish His purposes. Jacob was a deceiver, Rahab a prostitute, Moses a murderer, David an adulterer and murderer, Peter a deserter, and Paul a persecutor – just to name a few.

See mistakes as opportunities for growth. Perfectionists go to great lengths to avoid getting it wrong. Yet, failure often ends us helping us more than success in the long run. 

Focus more on the journey than the destination. Perfectionists can get so obsessed with the product that they don’t enjoy the process. Entering the sunset years of my ministry, my goal is to enjoy the experience versus making an evaluation, with progress and perseverance taking precedence over performance and perfection – more jubilation and less analysis.   

Learn to prioritize and discriminate. When I was in college, I was obsessed with making an “A” in every class. It took the seminary experience to teach me that lower grades were just fine, especially if it meant enjoying more time with my new wife, getting needed exercise, and actually living out what I was learning.

Embrace Christ’s perfection. As Jesus said, “You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). Of course we can never be perfect based upon our performance, but rather on the sacrifice He made and the price He paid for our salvation.