September 18: Open Letters – Dear Perfectionism

Read Galatians 1:10

Dear Perfectionism,

Really? How can I be perfect when I am human? How can I expect everybody else to be perfect when they are human? Quit bugging me!

Major League Baseball has been around for 140 years. In that span, there have been 210,000 games played and just 23 perfect games have been thrown. And you expect me to be perfect?

I see all these people on social media who seem to be perfect. Why can’t I achieve that? How can I learn to forgive myself?  I want to LEARN from my mistakes and grow as a Christian.

I am encouraged by the song, MESS OF ME, as Switchfoot sings:

“Oh, when you can’t forgive yourself!
There ain’t no drug – 
The sickness is myself.”

Are you even attainable?

I am always chasing you. But you and all your expectations are always with me. I try so hard to keep everyone happy. I try so hard to keep things in order, to make others feel good, to do things the right way, to be all that I can be – and to be who others want to see. This actually can be pretty tiring. Am I trying to do the impossible for the ungrateful? You, perfectionism, leave me discouraged and wishing I could be better.

I know God’s Word gives me great hope on how to get out from under you – you burden of perfectionism! Galatians 1:10 hits it head on: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. I will now strive for excellence, not perfection. I will discard you. Instead, I can achieve excellence. You, perfectionism, are causing me unnecessary stress. Through prayer, perseverance and learning from mistakes, I can defeat you.

Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for God, not men”.  You know what? I CAN DO THAT. AND I AM GOING TO DO THAT! Goodbye, perfectionism. Hello, excellence.

“Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.”

Vince Lombardi, winning coach of Super Bowl I and II.

Tom Weckesser

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