October 13, 2010

Progress vs Perfection

I'm one of those people that finds myself striving for perfection. It really isn't for the sake of others, although I do get joy from others words of affirmation, but I personally like to know things are done right. Perfect. Even if it only lasts a second.

Of course, my life is by no means perfect, and I'm sometimes left feeling as if I've failed... Having not achieved the level of "perfectness" that I strive for. I also have no desire to have others think my life is perfect. I enjoy learning from others in the areas where I am weak and find that this almost always only happens when I divulge my areas of "unperfectness. "

One book that I've read on quite a bit recently is Wisdom: Things I Wish I knew at Twenty-Two.  I received it as a speaking gift at a conference targeted to college women, which this book is a perfect fit for. I haven't read the entire book, but have read through most, just flipping through. There are some great tidbits in there, but one today hit me hard:

"Strive for progress, not perfection."

It's not a new or difficult concept, but something I need to fall back on more often than not. After all, I'm not perfect and I only know of One who is. And while I strive to be like Him, I don't strive to be Him... See the difference?

God has quite a history of using imperfect people (Saul, Zaccheaus, Jonah, etc.) and God has proven faithful to me, using me in many imperfect situations. God made us, God doesn't make mistakes, God never called me to be perfect. If He expected us to be perfect, then grace, forgiveness and Jesus wouldn't be needed. Seeing as I'm a bit partial to the New Testament, I think I'm going to start remembering it's words and stories a bit more and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Did I lose you on the bathwater? I know, it's a bit of a reach. Stick with me...

So, for now, I'm going to try my best to make progress and throw my ideas of perfection out the window. Maybe that means displaying patience once more each week than usual, or forgetting the kids' backpacks once less. Progress!

I'm not perfect (oh goodness, now I've go a Laurie Berkner song stuck in my head) but I'm pretty darn progressive. And that? That will do!

No comments: