We live in a culture that prizes and endlessly seeks and is seduced by perfectionism. If you don’t believe me take a look around. If you don’t like your face, seek a plastic surgeon and get another one. We push our children to be the smartest, the fastest and the most popular, the things we buy are constantly being upgraded into the biggest, newest, best tasting they have ever been.
But I’ve got a secret for you, you can fix all the stuff on the outside you want, it isn’t going to change the inside. It is a problem when our outward focus inhibits our ability to look to what is missing inside. If we seek the truth, the answer is quite simple.
Let me get deeply personal here for a moment and speak directly to one way this affects my life. My Harley Davidson Softail “Glitter”. She was great as I bought her; she did everything I needed her to do and gave me what I needed her to. However that did not stop me from decking her out with so much bling that she literally shines when we go down the road. It didn’t (still doesn’t) stop me from purchasing outrageously priced Harley Davidson clothing to wear when I ride her (and just about any other time). I think I was striving for perfection in the wrong place, probably still am. I can reach just as many people for God on a bike with absolutely no non-stock adornment as I can with all the latest gadgets, the loudest exhaust, the showiest paint job and the newest stereo system.
Matthew 5:48 states it perfectly, “be perfect therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.
It seems that our pursuit of perfectionism is really just a fear that we aren’t enough, we aren’t good looking enough, we aren’t thin enough, we don’t make enough money, our bike isn’t the best on the road.
To seek perfection in the world is to strive for the impossible, and end up spending a LOT of money doing it. We may get momentary personal satisfaction, but we do not get eternal satisfaction.
The more we seek perfection in the world, the less we seek it from God. The more we seek the illusion of the perfection the world serves up the more detached we become from the brilliance of the glow that God can cast in our lives.
There is a difference between seeking perfection and seeking wholeness. The desperation we feel to continue seeking perfectionism is like a snowball, the more you have the more you want which translates into the more you have the less satisfied you are with what you have. In effect you are still seeking for what it is that fills that void and you keep trying to fill it with everything your neighbor owns, every new offering at the store, all the new fashions, all the new diet fads, every new part Harley Davidson comes out with, (replace name of bike with your particular brand) you name it, if we think it can lead us to perfection we are there in line waiting to buy it.
Perhaps it is not perfectionism for which we should be striving after all, perhaps the thing we should concentrate on striving for, is grace, is goodness and light. After all God loves us for who we are, not IN SPITE of who we are. We do not have to own the biggest, the best, the fastest or the most expensive.
We just have to own our need for the one who can give us the best of the best and make us perfect in every way.
Seems quite simple to me.
……………………and so I ride………………..if the weather ever straightens up