I admit it; I’m a perfectionist. I like to get things right and won’t stop until it’s just so. I like order, neatness, and cleanliness (it’s next to Godliness, right?- just kidding!). When you think about it, though; what is the alternative? If we aren’t aiming for perfection, what are we aiming for?
I always find it odd that people look down on perfectionism as if it’s evil. Being a perfectionist is associated with being overbearing, always anxious, and stressed at the slightest ball of lint being on a piece of furniture. Perfectionists always have things together (at least that is what we are told) and fall to pieces when even the smallest item is out-of-order.
What if we are looking at perfectionism all wrong? Maybe we ought to applaud those who seek to get things right. Instead of berating others for being ‘perfect’ maybe we should celebrate their effort. Look at the alternative…
Instead of seeking perfection, we have people who eagerly look to be bad. There are those more than willing to fulfill the ‘bad boy’ role and find new ways to get themselves into trouble. Instead of perfection, we have people who are content with being mediocre. Some are willing to simply skate by in life; they have no high aspirations outside of themselves and are okay with barely making it.
As Christians, our goal is to be like Christ. Christ was perfect. So, in essence, if we are trying to be like Christ, aren’t we trying for perfection? I think so.
Honestly, I don’t think the problem lies in trying to be perfect. No, the problem is in how this manifests itself. Perfection is a goal we should attempt, with the understanding that we’ll never actually reach it this side of heaven. Attempting perfection only becomes a problem when we allow it to overwhelm us and take over our lives. Instead of seeing perfection as our end goal, we panic over the fact that we haven’t reached it today. We need to keep the target in mind and simply take one day at a time; getting better with each passing moment.
As homeschoolers, we can be tempted to see perfection as a poison in our homes. Who needs the pressure of finding the perfect curriculum or the perfect routine? But, this isn’t what is meant by being perfect. Being perfect is who we are as people, not which day-to-day routines we follow through with. It is our character which we are seeking to perfect; not our chores.
As parents, this too can be overwhelming. Are we perfect parents; are we training our children to be perfect adults? Again, I think we are looking at this wrong. We are going to make mistakes, we are going to fail at times; this doesn’t mean we should not try to constantly do better, hoping to one day conquer a particular area of our life and move onto yet another area which needs work.
Perfection is simple; it’s choosing to not accept less than what is perfect. Not the perfect house, not the perfect outfit, but perfect character. So, yes; I am a perfectionist. But is this really a bad thing?
Time to Chime In: Do you think perfection can be reached this side of heaven?