The Perfectionist’s Problem

One of the first lessons I learned in writing is that it’s ok to send out a devotion with typos. I apologize to you for them, but it’s partly on purpose. I’m a perfectionist at heart. I like things to be a certain way. I don’t want you distracted by words that have been autocorrected into something I didn’t intend. I also want these devotions to be polished and have the finishing touches put on them so that it’s easy for you to read. However, if I wait until they’re perfect, I’d never put one on the website. 

“Perfect” is an illusion that creates procrastination. I can hide behind that word all I want, but really my perfectionism is my fear keeping me from hitting the publish button. I will never have this devotion or any other one perfect because I’m imperfect. I’ll never have all the words just right, the grammatical pieces in place or the setting just right. I can tweak them over and over again, but if I never hit the publish button, what good is it? 

I like how Ecclesiastes 11:4 puts this dilemma. It says, “If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything” (GNT). That verse is a huge gut check to my perfectionism. Not hitting the publish button is akin to not planting anything. If I wait until everything is perfect and just right, I’ll never do what God called me to do. It’s a trap that many of us fall into.

As I was wresting with it early on, I was reading a book by Mark Batterson. He wrote that we get “ready, set, go” backwards. We should be more like “go, set, ready”. If God has asked you to do something, start doing it. You’ll never have everything just right or perfect. If you wait until the conditions are right, you’re going to still be standing on the starting line when you die. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to let my perfectionism keep me procrastinating my whole life. I’m sorry if these aren’t perfect, but neither am I. 


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9 responses to “The Perfectionist’s Problem

  1. Sheldon

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Michele

    When God says Move……move
    You don’t want to miss your call
    Thank You Lord

  3. Michele

    God has a plan for our life and you don’t wAnt to miss it

  4. David Duncan

    This makes me think of the illustration about not waiting to leave home until all the lights are green. Reality says we start the trip and deal with the stop lights one at a time. A good word, brother!

  5. I have learned that perfectionist tendencies are the fruit of the idol called control. I have been a control freak most of my life but God showing me that I can give the control to Him & live in freedom.

    • You’re right to call it an idol. Anything that we put in place of Him is an idol. In this case, it’s control (which is the original sin). Since the Garden of Eden, we’ve tried to wrestle control of our destiny away from God. It equates to a lack of trust in Him. As you said, freedom comes when we put control back in the right hands.

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