Setting such high expectations for yourself and trying to live up to them is an impossible burden to carry in the long term and it is EXHAUSTING. Sadly, as Christians we can sometimes convince ourselves that this type of “excellence” is what God expects from us, but we need to remember that God did not design us to be perfect or to make ourselves perfect. If we were perfect—or even capable of being perfect—there would have been no need for Jesus to come and save us. It is because of our imperfection that we receive everything God has to offer. There is a difference between simply having high standards and being a perfectionist. Setting high standards is healthy, and indeed, necessary for success in many areas of life. But perfection is an unattainable standard, an idol that keeps us thinking that if we were just a little better, we would be worthy. Then we would be happy or satisfied or fulfilled. It just doesn’t work that way.
Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
So, What… for This Week?
If we are honest with ourselves, a major driving force of perfectionism is the underlying desire for people to see us as ‘good.’ We have good intentions, but we’re not so sure how other people see us. Do they know how hard we are trying? Do they know how much we care? How much we are willing to give up to succeed at whatever it is we feel called to do? Isn’t it a relief to know that God didn’t measure us on these standards? He knew that we were sinners and yet He still chose to make the ultimate sacrifice for us. Whose standards will you strive to live up to?