I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I like to have everything in order, and color coordinated if possible. Perfectionism in itself isn’t wrong. It’s when my desire for perfection hinders me from being purposeful or productive that it’s not ok. Because we are called to “be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). That is why we should strive for perfection in all that we do, but perfection without purpose will not produce. If my purpose for doing anything is perfection, I will never reach my purpose because until I reach heaven, I will fall short on my own and there will always be room for improvement.
See, all along I think I have misunderstood what it means to “be perfect as He is.” The Bible commands us to “do whatever we do, whether in word or deed, in the the name of the Lord Jesus…” and to “work at whatever we do with all our heart, as if it was for the Lord Himself and not for men” (Colossians 3:17, 23) because He is perfect. When our purpose for doing anything is Him and to glorify Him then in turn what we do becomes perfect because it points back to Him, perfection. To be perfect is to be obedient to the calling He has placed in our hearts and to His Word regardless of our capabilities, because it is in obedience and not in perfection that our imperfections are overlooked by His glory.
In other words, we shouldn’t let the fear of being imperfect keep us from doing what we were created to do because He is perfect, and we shouldn’t let the fear of failing once or twice keep us from even trying because with God failure is not the end.
Weakness does not mean that we’re unfit to be used by God. Imperfections do not mean that we’re incapable of doing God’s work. For it’s through our weakness that His strength is shown and it’s through our imperfections that His glory shines. Don’t hide your moments of weakness, expose them and find strength in Him. Don’t cover up your imperfections, embrace them and watch Him use them for perfection.
The world defines failure as a lack of success, and I think that’s why so many of us fear it. I fear it. But when I decide to believe that failure is not in fact a lack of success but a step towards success, the fear I have has no power over me. Faith doesn’t magically vanish away fear. Faith conquers it so that it holds no power over us. “Without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6) because without faith we will never find it in us to do what He places in our hearts.
God has placed in each and every one of us a specific dream. My dream is to reach the world with His love through my heart and words. And most times I really don’t believe that I can do it. My heart knows I can, but my mind has a hard time believeing it. Fear of imperfection and failure cloud my mind, and in turn my focus shifts from my faith in God to my fears, but God is so faithful. He always brings me back to Him. And when my eyes lock with His, and my heart is in tune with His, all my fears become background noise and the only sound I hear is His voice whispering “I am with you.” And in those words I find the strength to overlook all my fears and continue on.
words and photo by Maali Padro