Perfectionism

I’m a perfectionist. Big surprise, right?

I’m sure that many of you share my pain. My primary outlet for expressing my perfectionism is to intellectualize it. So, for example, last summer when I wanted to improve our conversation partner program, I envisioned putting together a grand booklet filled with amazing photos, a crisp layout (got to use my advertising degree for something, right?), and *lots* of useful information. I promptly went to the public library and checked out a half-a-dozen different books on culture, Chinese history, and Indian traditions.

My latest mania was when I discovered over the break that the incredibly helpful retired woman who had led our English Clubs this past semester would no longer be leading them. Although I’ve led English “classes” for years now, I’m a bit rusty. I panicked. Not everyone who can speak English can teach it, am I right? And I worried, if these classes aren’t good enough, people won’t stick around, they won’t come to Bible study and they won’t begin to follow Jesus!

So I ran once again to the public library and picked up several books on American slang, idioms, culture and pronunciation, along with one on English teacher development. Yeah. Did I mention that English Club is only one hour a week?

But that’s the realm of the perfectionist. If you completely understand where I’m coming from, you’re probably one, too, and if you can’t, then this is probably one of those insurmountable personality-based obstacles like whether the toothpaste should be squeezed from the middle or the bottom.

Even as I’m writing this, I’m reminded, though, that Jesus didn’t come so I could make everything perfect (sure, there’s that tricky bit in Matthew 5:48, but that’s a discussion for another time). Instead, He came to make us His. That’s something I need to be reminded of each day, because probably, within the next ten minutes, I’ll forget it and start trying to impress Him again with how perfect I am.

I am not perfect. Neither are you. And Jesus loves us no less for it.

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