It wasn’t until 2015 that I realized I’m a perfectionist. I’m a person that makes a lot of mistakes, so I never figured that I was a perfectionist.
But then I took a college class. I figured I would make it out with a B . . . but once I got an A on my first project, I became obsessed. I felt smart, and I loved that feeling.
So now, here I am, taking 17 credits at Bob Jones University. And yes, I’m one of those people that have a nervous breakdown if they get an A-.
So what do we do when we’re a perfectionist?
– it’s good because –
You’re trying your hardest.
You refuse to accept anything less than the best.
You’re making what you do worthwhile.
You’re serious about doing life well.
– it’s bad because –
People—even your friends—will grow tired hearing you whine about getting three questions wrong when they’re failing a class.
It’s easy to appear high and mighty . . .
And like a goody two shoes . . .
Being perfect can grow into an obsession.
So, let’s think about this.
At its root, desiring to be perfect isn’t wrong. After all, Christ is the PERFECT example of being perfect.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. — Matthew 5:48
However, He’s also the only One who can truly be perfect. Satan wanted to be just like God, in all His perfection, and his lust for that made him fall from the Heavens. It blinded his eyes with hate for all of time and made him plummet from the heights of perfection.
Well, the simple answer is that the Bible tells us to. (Matthew 5:48) Being Christlike starts with striving to show all the characteristics He perfected.
Human perfection is IMPOSSIBLE. However, with God’s help, we can achieve a level of “perfection” that is available in this world. Those that set the highest goals reach the highest heights. If you are content with being mistake-ridden, the stars will never be able to dust you in their light. You’ll forever be content in lying on the grass here on earth, digging your fingers in the dirt.
Human perfection looks like:
- Loving others daily . . . and finding visible ways to show that love
- Making time to read your Bible
- Praying constantly
- Applying the Bible in your daily life
- Allowing the Holy Spirit to make you more like Christ
You’re a human. YOU’RE GOING TO MESS UP. As a perfectionist, you have to make yourself realize that.
You also can’t work yourself to death. Allow yourself to relax every now and then. If you have time, give yourself an hour nap and let the homework get done later. You physically need the rest.
Also, don’t allow yourself to always be complaining that you didn’t reach that perfection. For me, that looks like not allowing myself to whine about missing only three questions on a test, or pretending I know everything since I got a high grade in my history class.
If you’re a very good student, a practical way to use your perfectionism is to tutor people. I don’t do this officially, but I help all my friends with their homework. It does help that I love assisting people with their homework; also, it helps me to talk out loud about what I’m learning and seems to solidify it in my brain.
So, to close, like everything in life being a perfectionist is good when it comes with balance. Don’t let it gain control of you and make you into an obsessive person who demands nothing less than the best because . . . the truth is, that’s impossible. But what isn’t impossible is trying your best, with God’s help, to live your best life.