Do you cover up your perfectionism with the mantra “striving for excellence? Of course, doing our best is always a pleasant thing, but when we blur the lines of good and perfect, it begins to hurt us and those we love. Join me, as we look at ten clues, which reveal when we are striving for perfection, not excellence.
Until it hit me with an embarrassing and unexpected moment, was I willing to start looking at my perfectionism tendencies.
Of course, it wasn’t me that blew our cover it was my sweet husband that could care less how we looked to others. It is true God gives us just what we need to help us grow. He gave me a man who tends to rock my orderly, put together life.
As you read in my last post, struggling to look like we had it all together was a constant battle when hosting Bible study in my home. Not even the mayhem that transpired with the mouse stopped me from pushing for perfection
Still, bound and determined I fought on to keep the image I had created of the “Good Christian Home.” This night was no different.
The house was clean, my homework was all completed, and we waited patiently for our guests to arrive. The doorbell rang; I took one last look to see if everything was in its place as I opened the door ready with my beautiful “hello.” I couldn’t believe my eyes! The only couple on the doorstep were the ones that I had deemed the holiest of holy.
I wanted to back away and pretend illness – anything, so my ignorance would not show.
The four of us prodded along slowly going from question to question. I barely spoke for fear my answers were wrong. Then it happened, all of the sudden my husband decides to make an announcement. He says,
“I don’t know if I even believe in this God stuff.”
My eyes popped out, my mouth fell open, as I hung on for dear life. It is a wonder I did not fall out of my chair and onto the floor.
Thinking to myself, “You have got to be kidding, you did not just say that.”
Quietly mumbling to myself, “You’re just now telling me this after twelve plus years of marriage.” “Could you not have chosen a different time and place to announce this news.”
After all, we are the hosts of this group – the “Christian People” who open their home to everyone. We are the ones that guide and facilitate the talking.
Obviously, somebody at the church should have done a better job of vetting us.
After catching my breath and finding my self-speechless, I sat back and listened.
Our “holy” friends didn’t skip a beat in asking him further questions, digging into what he meant. Quite honestly they did not care whether we looked the part or whether our home was clean. They had hearts full of love for Jesus and others and were ready to engage.
Of course, I wish the lesson had been learned right there on the spot, but no my pride got in the way, and I felt wounded. Plus I was embarrassed.
This event marked the beginning of realizing just maybe in my seeking of doing my best; I was crossing the line into perfectionism.
After all, that night, my husband’s heart was what mattered. Jesus was what mattered – not how I looked to others. He had questions and doubts like many people and what better people than these two to talk with who had a wealth of information. He was not afraid to ask to grow to become who God wanted him to be not who I thought he should be.
A Question began running through my mind –
“Do I blur the lines of reaching for excellence and end up reaching for perfection instead?”
Realizing, my striving for something I could not attain was leaving me empty and feeling as if I could never be good enough – I decided to explore.
Reaching for our best is an excellent quality to have but when we cross over into striving for perfection is when we miss what God has in mind for us.
What are the clues, which tell you when you have crossed over into perfectionism?
Travel with us this month as we take a deeper look into what perfection is all about. If you are looking for a few favorites of mine on our topic, please click here.
Blog Series on Perfectionism:
- “Are You Exhausted Trying to Reach For Perfection?”
- “10 Clues You’re Striving For Perfection, Not Excellence”
- “Dispelling The Myths About Perfectionists”
- “How To Stop Striving For Perfection”
- “Will You Expose Your Imperfections?”
- Monthly Favorites
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