Miss Perfect takes a bow

By On Sunday, 26 February 2017 03:46
Miss Perfect takes a bow

Perfection is a trait that has always fascinated me. I was thinking about it the other day after a conversation with some friends about how we are propelled by the fear of disappointing the people who expect something from us. I am probably not the only one either; talk to any HR person who does talent acquisition and you will hear that in job interviews the most common answer to the question ‘’what is your weakness?’’ is the fact that people seem to think they are perfectionists. I know there're guys who say it because it seems to be the ‘’most appropriate’’ response to land the job; but, what about those that struggle with this need to be perfect?

 

Take me for example… :-) 

The desire to do everything right has been a personal motivation of mine since I was knee high and for a long while it worked well. I was the perfect daughter-obeying orders, coming home on time, doing my chores, getting good grades. I was the perfect student- keeping school rules, doing my homework, made it to school captain. The perfect friend-there when you need me, remembering birthdays, buying you gifts –yeah, you want to be my friend now, don’t you?

The show got on rocky ground though, when this need for perfection was directed to my walk with God. I was in church every Sunday, I was a leader in church, I paid my tithe, I gave, I went for missions, and my QT was consistent.

Good people, I was on track to winning Heaven's Award for the perfect Christian.

( pause here for effect)

It got so bad my Bible Study members nick named me ‘’Miss perfect’’. A name I didn't mind at all :-)

Funny-not-so funny story:

Once, in the same bible study we were going through psalms 24. Where the psalmist asks ‘who shall ascend the hill of the Lord’’ and the response in one of the versions read ‘’the one whose deeds are blameless i.e. the one who is perfect and I spent that whole study session reminding people that since I was the only perfect one in the team, I would be the only one seeing the top of that mountain. Perfect friend, eh? 

My motivation for perfection really has been the idea that, the more perfect I am the less likely I am to be a disappointment. To friends, to my parents, my boss and my coworkers and now to God. Don’t get me wrong- there were many times I was short of this perfection and I was aware of it and even though I beat myself up for it for a couple of days, on the general I prided myself in being a goody two shoes.

The past several months though has seen my track record fall to unimaginable levels, even for me. I have struggled with things that were non issues before. I have failed, I have failed as a perfect Christian, and I have failed miserably. I remember at one point looking at myself in the mirror and asking whoever was willing to listen ’’who is this person?’’ Just in case you are wondering, the answer was a deafening silence.

I understand that salvation is by grace and I could never earn what God has given me but the idea that I was doing everything that was expected of me and doing it well put this warped idea in my head that somehow, that made me a better person. The thing is though, IT IS WORK and if you are on this track sooner or later you will fail, but the good news is that that failure will lead you into the arms of a perfect father.

This past Saturday at the Saturday PM, Pastor Steve Thuo was taking us through Exodus 30- an exposition he titled God and formulas. He took us through the fact that God had laid down guidelines on how to prepare every single thing that was to be used in worship of Him. The measurements for the worship artifacts were provided to a T; well... everything except for one: the wash basin. Pastor Steve put to us that in his own thinking: the reason why the measurements of the basin were not provided was because as human beings we can never wash or clean ourselves enough to meet God's standards. I found that interesting, it was a rhema word following the conversations I had been having with myself.

Every so often we need a reminder of these truths that get lost as we attempt to live our lives in this fallen world. For me, the truth today is that even our best attempts at perfection, at righteousness will always fall short of God’s standard. That's why He sent us the perfect sacrifice to stand on our behalf. I would much rather boast about the righteousness of Him who saves me than about my own righteousness. It is for this reason that Miss Perfect gladly takes a bow.

 

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