Have you had a moment where you were doing so well in life and then out of nowhere comes a slip up? You were doing all the right things, feeling good about yourself, eating right, making progress at work or school then BAM! You wake up one day and you look at your perfection streak in the game of life and it’s gone. The streak you worked so hard to have. Then you start feeling like a failure because you messed up one time or a even a couple in a row.
Take it from a recovering Perfectionist. I know how you feel.
The Roots of Perfection
Growing up as the oldest and in a very strict home aiming for perfection was my survival mechanism. If I did it right, said it right and looked right then I’d be praised and loved. Just one mess up even by accident though could have me in big trouble that I avoided at all costs.
So learning that perfection is how you get things in life or avoid the bad things in life was inevitable for me. There was a high price to pay when I didn’t keep my “good” streak.
Maybe you had a similar up bringing and understand the pressure.
You may also feel like you are not a perfectionist you just want to be ok. You want to be stable and safe. That you were not trying to keep a high score. But let me tell you that if failure and mess ups put you in a doozy; then you were definitely not seeing it coming. Which means you were not expecting for you to make mistakes which is definitely perfectionist territory. But that’s ok! I’m right there with you remember?
Letting Go of the Pursuit of Perfection
What changed it all is when I read a devotional after having another day of feeling disappointed in myself because I got off the ball and did not feel worthy of anything good in my life. It said that God prefers Persistence over Perfection. What?! You’d think it’s something simple I should’ve known about God but when you are still recovering from lies and bad habits from your past it’s not easy to see the answers right in front of you.
All this time God actually praises and rewards Persistence over Perfection. As in He loves that you mess up a million times in a row but you get up and try again more than doing it right hundreds of times in a row and throwing in the towel when you fail. Accepting failure means we know we are loved enough to make mistakes and learn from them. No, this is not an excuse to not try and not put the effort. That is not persistence that is giving up. Which can lead to a lot of heart ache. Believe it or not though; people that have a hard time with failure and end up inevitably making mistakes choose to give up all together afterwards because of their disappointment. What could’ve been a small learning curve then becomes square one or they are worst off than before.
The Reward of Persistence
Persistence is leaning on the perfect one while you follow His foot steps. You are allowed to get angry, feel like giving up, feel worn out, say the wrong thing and do the wrong things. As long as you get back up when God offers you a hand. Let’s not push away His grace and help because we are caught up by the pride of our ways. Let Him help you and dust you off and try again. Persistence builds character, muscle and constant communication with God. In other words your weaknesses bring you closer to Him because He gets to be what He was meant to be in your life.
You gain a bestie for life!
Perfection cannot offer any of that because you don’t need anyone or anything in that mindset. It isolates you. Only God can carry the heaviness of perfection. He loves us so much He took that upon himself so we can be free to learn and grow with Him.
Be encouraged today and everyday that you can do all things through God who strengthens you and if you miss the mark then it was because He wanted to teach you some more great things. He wants to spend time with you some more. Let Him. And let yourself relax and be unapologetically imperfect. Wear the badge of Persistence well.
Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. James 1:12
Discover how LOVING YOURSELF IS HOLY AND BIBLICAL