Connect: Excellence vs. Perfectionism
Jul 11, 2014
Are you a perfectionist?
It’s easy to be a perfectionist and not even realize it. A perfectionist is a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection. And for those of you who are perfectionists you know that WHEN, not if, we fall short, we will tear ourselves down. A perfectionist has a hard time looking at the bigger picture or focusing on the positives. If you were to look at a newspaper real close up you would notice that each letter is made up of little tiny imperfectly misaligned dots, but when it’s all put together and you look at the word, paragraph, or newspaper as a whole it looks great. A perfectionist only sees those close up dots. Perfectionists refuse or are unable to see the positives or the greater scheme of things. Since they’re so focused on being perfect, they can’t focus on what they’ve done good.
So how does being a perfectionist affect our worship?
When we seek to be perfect we are seeing ourselves capable of being our own Gods. In all reality we aren’t enough, aren’t perfect, and aren’t capable of being perfect. But we are capable of being excellent. We are to have excellence because Christ made us excellent according to the grace given to us.
Philippians 3:12- Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
While reading through the chapter this week I remembered something I read from the book “Grace” by Max Lucado…
“But if you were adopted, your parents chose you. Surprise pregnancies happen. But surprise adoptions? Never heard of one. Your parents could have picked a different gender, color, or ancestry. But they selected you. They wanted you in their family. You object: Oh, but if they could have seen the rest of my life, they might have changed their minds. My point exactly. God saw our entire lives from beginning to end, birth to hearse, and in spite of what he saw, he was still convinced “to adopt us into his own family by brining himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure (Eph. 1:5) Your identity is not in your possessions, TALENTS, tattoos, kudos, or accomplishments. Nor are you defined by your divorce, deficiencies, debt, or dumb choices. You are God’s child. You get to call him Papa. You may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Eph. 3:12). You receive the blessings of his special love and provision. And you will inherit the riches of Christ and reign with him forever.”
We serve a perfect God. This perfect God saw our broken lives and how jacked up and imperfect we are and loved us all the more because of our brokenness. We are God’s chosen possessions. Our sins, our failures, our imperfectness are all just stories of God’s grace. God saw our brokenness and made it beauty because through him, in his grace, we can be excellent. In our weakness, He is stronger.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
What’s the difference between perfection and excellence to you?
Colossians 3:23- Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men
We serve a God of excellence. Look at creation. God saw that it was good. We need to accept that we serve a perfect almighty God that made a way for us to be great. Through Jesus he made us excellent, we aren’t able to be perfect or even excellent on our own, but through Christ we are made more than enough. Through our spiritual gifts, our worship, and our entire lives we are to live them to the best of our ability, which is excellence is God’s eyes.
What are some applicable ways we can strive for biblical excellence?
Practice. Spiritually prepare to be used as a better instrument for God’s PERFECT glory. Physically prepare. Give your all in everything you do.
Mark 12:41-44- 41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.[f] 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Like that widow let us give our all because of the knowledge we have of our perfect God and because of the grace given to us that made adopted children of God able to do amazing things for and by God.
How can you practice biblical excellence?
Do you need to combat perfectionism in any areas of your life?