The Perfectionist's Problem

I'm reading a book called "Finish" by Jon Acuff. It's fantastic and gut wrenching and has got me thinking.

Here's the deal. He's not paying me for this. I just absolutely love this book. I write these blog posts partly because I miss school and partly because I have a constant urge to "express" -- whatever that means.

Jon talks about how perfectionism can be such a destroyer of progress; it paralyzes people who feel like they can achieve it. And honestly, I feel like a part of that mindset really stems from pride.

But just wait. We both know that there's a healthy side to ambition. Having a drive for excellence is good and right, something God has called us to do. We've literally been made to bring order out of chaos. Light to darkness. Beauty to misunderstanding. Isn't working hard at something a good thing? 

Absolutely. But when your drive turns into relentless self-examination, it becomes exhausting. You've heard it before: You are your own worst critic.

Perfectionism is trippy, dude. It tells you to quit the project the day after your first mess up. What a goal killer! 

One reason why I'm doing this single-a-month thing is to get rid of that. I'm done hiding. God calls us to share our gifts with other people, but that's so terrifying. You'll never get anything perfect the first time around. 

But let's be real. Sometimes I wish I could just escape somewhere far away and lock myself in a cabin and write songs all day and cook myself quesadillas and drink lemonade. That sounds awesome. Sometimes I feel like burying my talent in the ground.

Breathe. Slow down. Stop. 

God's grace is more than enough for you, for me. 

The more I follow Jesus, the more I see how understanding he is. God became man in the form of Jesus not because he needed to prove himself. That's not it. He wanted us to know just how deeply he understands how we feel. Jesus hung out with his friends. He got angry, without sinning -- for righteous things. He wept when his friend died. He got hungry. He was tempted in every way, yet he was without sin.

God knows what "human" feels like. 

Please, just receive this word. Your Father, the God of the universe, has seen that you've put a lot of pressure on yourself. And he wants you to know that he has lived the perfect life FOR you. You are not God. Trust him and lay down your perfectionism at the foot of the cross. 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Colossians 3:23-24