I’m writing to you, because long ago, I was just like you. And what good is our personal growth if we don’t help others along in the process?
For me, it was perfection in school. I knew I could achieve all A’s in school, and it became a defining factor in my life. I was “Lacey, the Smart One.” I could learn any material necessary to make my teachers happy, to make my parents praise me, to make myself feel like I was worth the air I breathed.
And what if I didn’t achieve the A? Well, that would be the end of the world to me. Because if I wasn’t a perfect student…what was I?
Thankfully, God brought a really cute boy into my life when I was in college, who told me that if I got a B in a class, he would take me out for ice cream. It was a game changer, because I knew being with Luke was totally worth tarnishing my “perfect” record. And it was.
So, my dear perfectionist, let me tell you this: you must learn to fail.
I wholeheartedly believe in doing things with excellence, BUT you have to understand that you are not God. You will fail.
If you never failed, would you ever acknowledge your dependence on Him? No. You wouldn’t need Him, because you’d be perfectly fine on your own. And that’s where our failure becomes beautiful.
In our failures, we experience true grace and mercy.
I hope that, over time, you will understand that your worth comes from being created in the image of God, and being redeemed by the blood of Christ…and nothing else. God’s Word tells us that our “righteousness” apart from God is as menstrual rags (Is. 64:6). That is pretty disgusting if you ask me!
Our true righteousness comes from the atoning blood of Jesus, not from anything we can do on our own.
I hope that’s a relief to you, dear perfectionist. Does it take the weight off your shoulders to know that you don’t have to (and couldn’t if you wanted to) do it all perfectly?
Why don’t you leave that task to the One who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, the One who has already overcome the world?
A former perfectionist and child of the Perfect One