Today I am excited to have Rosie Lapp here to talk about something near and dear to my heart, the struggle with perfectionism. I hope all you other perfectionist out there find some encouragement in Rosie’s words today.
We’re all guilty of chasing perfect at one time or another. For me, it was in my college work and my writing. I wanted to graduate Summa Cum Laude. I wanted to write the perfect story. But something I learned on the way is, perfection wears you down until you’re out.
As women, the struggle with perfectionism is real. We want Pinterest perfect weddings, homes, and families. We want everything to run smoothly at work and at home. But life often has a different plan. You may have discovered by now that life is not picturesque. In fact, it’s no where close to looking like your Pinterest boards. I don’t know what you want to be perfect, but let’s look at how the act of striving for perfect is damaging.
The Danger of Perfectionism
Desiring perfection in your work or life is not inherently a bad thing. It’s when perfection becomes an idol that we see a problem. And that’s where the damage begins. You see, it doesn’t become an idol overnight. It’s a sneaky process and slips higher and higher until you find yourself a slave to it. Over time, it takes more and more of your headspace.
In this day and age, being a perfectionist is overused, even joked about. But since when is it cool to be a perfectionist? When is it kind to yourself to be critical of whatever you set your hand to? When we’re chasing after such an unattainable ideal, it steals are attention, then our thoughts, and tries to take our heart as well. Striving for perfection never satisfies. Perfection is not worth obsessing over. It’s time consuming, and ultimately doesn’t edify you. Why? Because it could always “be better.”
Which leads me to my next point, perfection is never done. It’s never finished. There is always room for improvement. Working toward perfection, in a way, is futile because you will never achieve it. Instead of wasting your energy toward an unattainable goal, why not learn to accept your best for what it is, your best?
But how do you retrain your mind and heart? Well, just like you would learn anything, with lots of practice.
Bible Verses for When You Struggle with Perfectionism
Let these truths found in Scripture sink in a moment:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV. Emphasis added.)
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV. Emphasis added.)
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2, ESV. Emphasis added.)
“…for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:3-4, ESV. Emphasis added.)
According to these Scriptures, we see that Jesus has made us completely new and not just that, but His power is made perfect through our weakness. How wonderful! We don’t have to be perfect, that responsibility rests on His shoulders alone. We may still want to be perfect, but this knowledge doesn’t necessarily free us from that desire. However, we will never be perfect in this earthly body. If we could, do you think Jesus would have had to come die for us?
Choose to Let go of Perfect
If you want to change, let this be your opportunity. Be prepared, you will need to give yourself grace after grace on this journey. You will have to let go and let God. It will be hard to change your habits, but you are capable! Best of all, you are not on this journey alone.
Remember that you are enough. It doesn’t matter what you create, your best is enough for God. You may not believe it is, but trust me when I say God is proud of you. He is the one who gave you this talent to begin with, is He not?
Letting go of the chase to perfection invites rest and peace into your heart. Let it stay there a while. It may not feel like peace or rest right away, but you’ll get there. Remember, some things are just out of your control. If you give something your very best, then refuse any disappointment at the door. Don’t let it enter into your heart. Guard it closely. Your journey can start today if you let it. Let’s pray together.
Father, help us win the battle with perfection. Equipped with Your Word, we surrender our heart to you. Work in us and through us. Thank You for the talent You have given me. From this moment on, I don’t want to let perfection get in the way of receiving Your peace. I want to do better, show me the way. Thank You for not giving up on me!
Rosie Lapp is a wife to a wonderful man and a mother to two energetic little boys. Seeking authenticity in every day, she strives to live without regrets and be bold; loving God and her family fearlessly. She endeavors to cultivate her love for Christ in all she does, whether she’s tending to household chores, the little ones, or writing away on a blog post or her latest project. It’s her passion to uplift and encourage young wives through her work at the Young Wives Club. There’s nothing she enjoys more than ministering to her family and others. You can follow along with Rosie and the Young Wives Club on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.