You know who you are: the frantic and determined, the methodical and uncompromising. You run at life full force, never letting up, resolved to get it right, but not just right, perfect. Leaving no stone unturned, no detail unattended, no person off the hook, you are convinced that if managed perfectly, life can turn out just as you planned. Most of us are not extreme perfectionists, demanding an ultimate utopian existence. It takes a special kind of obsession, perhaps one on speed, to supply the excessive amounts of energy required to attend to every detail of life. Yes, most of us settle for tamer diligence, tempering our control tendencies to a few very specific areas of life: work, relationships, hobbies, religion, etc.
The perfectionist disposition believes: By my own power, intelligence,
skills or manipulation, I can perfect all that is under my control. Whether you are a mild manipulator or a severe compulsionist there is something you need to know: perfection is out of your reach. It is unachievable, not possible, not even feasible. You are ordering an entrée that is not even on the menu! Only Jesus is perfect. Everything He sets His mind to do, He does with the utmost excellence and satisfaction. From creating this complex universe to living a sinless life to conquering death, He did it all well. He did it all perfectly. As His followers, having placed our complete faith and trust in his work for us on the cross, we are promised to be like Him someday. One day our transformation will be complete and we will be wholly remade in His image (Romans 8:29). Then, and only then, will we be perfect. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that, (God) has put eternity into mans heart We know that we were made for more than this life. Civilizations throughout history have built traditions and religions on the fear that there is something, someone waiting to meet their spirits after this physical life is over. Unfortunately, perfectionists have lived and died by codes they believed would win them eternity, but really only earned damnation.
Paul poignantly comments, Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect (Philippians 3:12). In humility, Paul admitted that he is a work in progress, pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14). He knew his dismal condition on this earth fell far short of perfection, but he was not defeated by his state. God has given mankind an eternal perspective so that we would seek for truth and seek Him. As long as we live according to our fleshly nature in a fallen world, in the midst of a depraved
mankind, perfection is impossible. It is only through Christ that we have hope beyond this desperately flawed existence. Death, by God’s grace, puts an end to our futile struggle for perfection and finally places utopia within our reach. Instead of attempting to make heaven a place on earth, we should look forward to being released from this confining existence! Eternity is our only hope. And more than eternity, glorification is our only hope. When Jesus returns for His church, He will make all things right. He will make all things perfect. Gloriously, He will transform the fallen, substandard, and evil into the beautiful, outstanding, and righteous. Heaven will be a place of no tears, no suffering, no dying and no mistakes…but life before heaven will never achieve this heavenly potential. Until we are set free, we must learn to live with less than perfection. Dear perfectionist, embrace reality. You are not perfect and neither is anyone around you. Let yourself off the hook, and let everyone else off too. Remember Paul’s words: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God (II
Corinthians 3:5). Transfer your expectation from that which cannot deliver to the only One who can. Know that perfection is waiting for you one day…someday…but not today.