“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
Perfectionism is a problem that plagues a lot of people. But perfectionism and “being perfect” are two subtly, yet vastly, different cups of tea. perfectionist judge themselves by their achievements, but that is antithetical to the premise of salvation, which is by grace – not by works, lest any man should boast. To God, being perfect means being in Christ, and being able to say, “By the grace of God I am what I am!” (1 Corinthians 15:10)
The problem with perfectionism is that you will never know if you have done enough. Enough to be saved, enough to be loved, enough to be accepted. Nothing is ever enough and no one can live up to your standards. The perfectionist can never forget his or her failures, and often procrastinates on projects because they are waiting for the time to be “perfect,” which it will never be. (It will never be a perfect time to become the person you want to be. Start now.)
To all those perfectionists out there (and I used to be one), remember that you do not have to be the best; just do your best. It is absurd to strive for an unattainable perfection that doesn’t exist.
Instead, strive for excellence.
Ask yourself: Do you resent criticism or do you learn from it? In striving for perfection, you will most likely reject and resent criticism of your work as an affront to your character. But this is not the case. You must learn to detach from your work and not take things personlly; while at the same time pouring maximum effort into your work as you strive for excellence.
Grace is God’s acceptance of us. Faith is our acceptance of His acceptance. Accepting God at His Word for the truth that it is, is what allows us to be perfect.