Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Perfection - Part 1

Before writing this post I want to acknowledge two things:
  1. Its been ages since I updated my blog. I have neither posted any new thoughts, nor updated my 'friends wot blog' list. Glyn was most upset about this after his astounding success of blogging every day not too long ago, and so because of that, Glyn is now at the top of my list. I will endeavour to update this properly in January.
  2. The lack of recent posting means that this topic (perfection) could turn out to be be very long. My posts are always long anyway, let alone when I haven't blogged for a while; so to try to not bore everyone to death, I have decided to split this up into (at least) three blog entries. This one will talk about 'me and perfection' (not that I think the two belong together), the next will talk about whether God expects perfection, and the last will talk about the perfection to come.

Me and Perfection

I overheard a conversation the other day where someone said, 'its not about perfection is it!'. This comment was made in relation to a carol service for the community put on by our church. I, somewhat facetiously, said, 'oh yes it is, perfection is everything'. Actually, in all honesty, I probably didn't say that, I can't remember exactly what I said, but it was certainly a comment suggesting that we should always aim for perfection.

I DID mean that tongue-in-cheek. I don't really think that a church carol service has to be perfect - I was genuinely joking. However, it did raise the point that I do have a bit of a perfectionist streak in me. I think I have mentioned on here before that I hate being called, or especially calling myself, a 'perfectionist'. If I was asked to imagine what a 'perfectionist' was like, I would immediately think of someone who was nearly perfect, and hated that they weren't quite there. That is the image conjured up in my mind when people call me that, and yet I am so far from that. I don't in any way think of myself as anywhere near perfect. I am not a perectionist because everything I do is always perfect, but because I HATE that it isn't. I know it may seem trivial to make this distinction, but it is really important for my understanding of who I am.

WHy do I say all this? The next couple of posts will say more about this, but the point is largely this: I think being a 'perfectionist' can cause all sorts of problems, and I am often being reminded that no-body expects me to be perfect, but I really struggle with the idea of not striving for that. I do want to be perfect, and I am not sure that I agree that I should start to tell myself its ok to be less than that. Not that I think I am, or ever will be, anywhere near reaching that goal, but surely its not wrong to strive for it anyway; to strive to be the best we can rather than excusing ourselves for being less than that and therefore never reaching our potential?

Like I said, I will expand on this thought in a more spiritual context in the next post. I guess this might come across as defensive, but I don't mean it in that way; these are genuine ponderings of mine, and I am not trying to make statements, of right or wrong, merely trying to work out my own issues in this area.


Anonymous said...

I'm just an anonymous fan of your blog, who thinks John Mitchinson should be in your list of friends who blog.

I'm very anonymous.

Kirst said...

I hate these anonymous comments - they leave so few clues as to who they might try and try to figure it out but to no avail! Come on anaonymous! Please give me some sort of hint!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dawn said...

Is striving to be/do the best that YOU can be/do the same as aiming for perfection?

Rachel said...

I guess it depends on your definition of perfect. I wonder how far apart 'perfect' and 'holy' have become?

Great to see you have posted! Yay! (By the way, so have I)

love ya,


Liz said...

Hah, you made your 'perfection' comment to A N Other and it was something like.' Liz doesn't think that perfection is important' and then you BOTH gave me that 'look'!

I think to be / do the best YOU can is just perfect. Have you read 'The Shack'? I think it would drive you nuts actually, but would be worth a read to have another very objective view on what motivates us and why is doesn't actually matter at the end of the day, according to the author of this book.

Of course, we'll never know will we, until....

Anonymous said...

I guess I agree with Rachel, it is all to do with what your perspective of perfection is. Is being a perfectionist the same as being perfect in Christ?

At the end of the day I think it is all about working towards all that God wants us to be - and remembering that it is more about him and not us. Striving to be the person he wants me to be. Phil 3:12-14