Measured by Perfection? Part 1
By Selma Komisky
“What a God He is! How perfect in every way! All His promises prove true.”
– Psalm 18:30 (NIV)
As she measured herself with a measuring tape it read “Mary Poppins, is practically perfect in every way!” She was the ideal nanny descending from the sky holding onto her umbrella to Jane and Michael Banks house. Poppins is smart, fun, attractive, young, always proper, and even has a sweet and witty friend named Bert! She can easily transport from one place to the next while also having perfect solutions for everything. She can also snap her fingers and make a messy room instantly tidy and simply reaches into her bottomless tapestry bag to possess anything that is needed at any moment. Additionally, she’s beloved by all (even animals) but of course we know she’s just a fictional Disney character.
Many women fall into this category trying to attempt the unattainable. Today’s women want it all! So which one are you?
The College Student
Over achievers: know exactly what their goals are, always meet with their professors, strive to get straight A’s in every subject (and condemn themselves if they don’t), work to keep their GPA up, take a full time load, study (enduring all nighters), graduate in four years with honors, work, intern at their dream job, serve in ministry, work out, participate in extracurricular activities, and have a social life.
To the Mom’s
The super mom: Desires her children to be educated, well mannered, have a neat and well kept and decorated home. They work, grocery shop, do chores, garden, go to the beauty shop, church, coordinate meals for a sick friends, zumba, pick up kids, drop them off at their soccer and dance practice, pick up the dry cleaning, prepare a hot nutritional meal, spend quality time with the family, walk the dog, and make it on time to attend open house at their kids school.
The Working Gal
Workaholic: Early riser, grabs a Starbucks, and heads off to her morning meeting. Takes pride in her strong work ethic and is known as the “get it done” person and “Employee of the Month.” Makes sure everything’s checked off her planner with a fine tooth comb, never misses an e-mail, and returns all calls. She’s well organized (borderline OCD) and makes sure she has accomplished each task while also working through her lunch and overtime after work to prepare for the next day.
So again I ask, which one are you?
According to Webster’s definition of perfectionism, it is a personality trait by a person striving for extreme flawlessness, a state of being perfect, and freedom from fault. When perfectionists don’t reach goals, they often go into depression, condemn themselves for all the things they didn’t do right, and concentrate on all their magnified failures. Perfectionism can lead into other unhealthy disorders (eating disorders, OCD, anxiety, depression, and even suicide.)
Yet God says there is none perfect – only one and that is God! In our pursuit to be perfect, we want to be so good that we get into this cycle of trying to please and it becomes bondage. Unfortunately, we have a sinful nature that makes us imperfect! We are limited, weak, fail, make bad choices, disappoint, miss the mark, and blow it everyday. Sound’s harsh, but it’s true.
In the beginning in the book of Genesis in the Bible, God created a paradise where everything was perfect. Adam and Eve were then tempted by the serpent (the devil) and fell into sin. Thus, came sin, death, and a world that was no longer perfect.
So whenever you’re feeling perfectionism coming on, open you’re Bible and read Romans 3:23 in the New International Version which says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” It‘s sobering but it brings you back to the truth – we are all sinners! But the good news is that we can praise the Lord that we have Jesus who was perfect and sinless and went to the cross to take upon Himself humanity’s sins. He paid our debt and fees we owed because of our sin and gave us grace upon grace because of His great love for us.
Matthew 5:48 in the Living version says, “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Now Jesus wasn’t saying to be perfect. He was referring back to Deuteronomy 18:13 where the New King James version says, “You shall be blameless before the Lord.” In context He was speaking about having integrity and dependence on the Lord alone. Jesus knows we’re human and flesh and we can’t be perfect. That doesn’t mean God lowers His righteous standards because we sin. We must recognize we have a need for a Savior to help us. When we come to Christ and ask Him to come into our lives He comes in and gives us His power to help us live holy and godly lives. It enables us to love as Jesus lives and gives us a godly perspective on things versus a self filled, prideful perspective.
One day when we die, the Bible states in 1 John 3:2 that we will be like Him and we will be perfect. Until then, rest in Jesus and let him change you to become more like Him because God loves us as we are even when we cannot be Miss. Poppins.
Stay tuned for Part 2 in our next issue out September 18th!