Discover more from Whatsoever Thoughts
Eulogy to Perfection
An Audio Experience
Two words Theologians use to talk about God’s work in our lives are “justification” and “sanctification.” The Gospel Coalition puts it this way: “Justification means being declared righteous, while sanctification means growing in righteousness.” One is instant. The other is continual.
I’m so grateful for God’s saving grace. And I hope I stay responsive to His life-changing grace. I hope I always keep growing in Jesus.
The thing is, perfectionism tries to pretend it’s about growth. But really it’s about never making a mistake. Never needing help. Always having the answers. Always having to have the answers. That’s a lot of pressure for a mere mortal to bear.
You end up holding the reins so tightly on yourself that you can hardly move.
Of course, as Christians, we examine our hearts. We invite God to examine our hearts too, to “see if there is any offensive way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting,” as Psalm 139 says.
But this is different from perfectionism.
When you tell yourself you must be perfect at all costs, one or more of the following happens:
You get so focused on being perfect that you lose focus on obediently following Christ.
Your culture and upbringing affect your ideas of perfection, which distracts or removes the nuance of Biblical principles.
You get so discouraged at your failures that you lose the energy to actually grow.
Your brain is so uncomfortable from the cognitive dissonance that it convinces you that you are perfect, and you stop growing and/or lose empathy for others.
A gardening friend of mine once tried to demystify plants for me. In the process, she told me about suckers. Here’s what The Spruce says about suckers:
“Plant suckers are vigorous vertical growth originating from the root system or lower main stem of a plant. Plant suckers are usually undesirable—you want the plant, but you don't want its suckers because they sap the plant's energy.”
Think of perfectionism as a sucker. A distraction.
Perfectionism is about concentrating on being perfect. Holiness is about obeying God. They may yield similar-looking results. But only holiness changes us from the inside out.
As I was considering these things, I wondered whether my desire to be perfect was an idol to me. Along that theme, I wrote a “spoken word” poem, a poem that is meant to be performed rather than read.
It’s called Eulogy to Perfection.
Here it is:
If you enjoyed this, pass it on. <3
Next week, we’ll finish this month’s theme with a closer look at God’s perfect love.
Thanks for reading Whatsoever Thoughts! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.