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Perfectionism: The Great Killer of Joy

Posted on June 11th, 2013

Last Saturday was the wedding of one of my four daughters on a farm in upstate New York. The music, the dancing, the great celebration with family and friends left me breathless. It was one of the most fabulous days of my life. The wedding was also flawed.  Despite 10 months of planning, a great deal of money, and lots of work, the wedding was not perfect. Think about it:

  • All vacations are imperfect.
  • The best church is very imperfect.
  • Every one of our children is imperfect.
  • Our parenting is imperfect.
  • The best employee is imperfect.
  • The best leader whom we idealize is imperfect.
  • The most perfect physical body is imperfect.
  • The most wonderful spouse is imperfect.
  • The greatest love making is imperfect.

Do the best you can and let it go. If the whole world were given you, you would still say, “It is too little.” Why? You were made for a perfect feast with Jesus that will last forever. Many of us spend our lives frustrated rearranging the world to be perfect. Perfectionism (often disguised as a commitment to “excellence”) is tied to rebellion and pride. It is insidious, especially among leaders. It destroys contentment. It evaporates gratitude. To be human is to be imperfect. Our fallenness is actually a gift that keeps us grounded. He is God. Thankfully, you and I are not.

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