Do you expect perfection from yourself? There was only one perfect person born on earth, our Lord, and we are not him! Strive for excellence, not perfection. If God doesn’t expect perfection from us; only obedience and goodness, why do we think we are better than God at achieving it?
I enjoy telling a story about goodness versus perfection that goes like this:
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, the mighty Ruler of Galatica sent two space ships to earth . . . (well, I didn’t tell you it was a true story) . . . anyway, he told the first Explorer to go to Earth and find everything that was perfect on the planet and bring all that he found back to him in his spacecraft.
To the other Explorer he told him to go to Earth and find everything that was good, and bring all that he found back to him in his spaceship.
Well, time went on and finally the first Explorer arrived back to Galatica. The Ruler rubbed his hands together and jumped up and down, anxiously awaiting all the provisions he’d see. But the Galatican arrived back empty-handed.
“What is the meaning of this?” declared the Ruler.
“Oh Sire, what a despicable place this earth planet was! I searched and searched and could find nothing perfect on it at all! Why, there was pollution and people played with angry birds. Cars honked incessantly and it always rained in Seattle. Gas was $5 a gallon and this thing called fried butter was horrendous! I repeat nothing on Earth is perfect!”
Discouraged, the Ruler waited for the other explorer he sent out to return.
Finally, the second explorer arrived and was also was summoned to the Palace.
“Were you able to find anything good on Earth?” His King asked discouragingly.
“Oh gracious King, you wouldn’t believe all the good I found on planet Earth!” he replied enthusiastically! “Why, there were birds singing, amazing rainbows, sunsets, beautiful homes and automobiles. The taste of ice cream is terrific! Why, I couldn’t bring all I found back to you, because there was just too much good in that world!”
So the moral of that story is, if you search for perfection you won’t find it anywhere, but search for good and it will be all around you. Ephesians 5: 8-10 “For you were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” NIV
God made you human, not perfect. Give yourself a break! Realize that even if you make a mistake, you certainly can and will strive to do better in the future. Talk yourself into success. Mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn to overcome obstacles in the future! Titus 2:12, “It teaches us to say “No” to ungoldliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”
Build your own strategies, but here are some suggestions to start you off. When you feel like eating, go for a ten minute walk up the street and ten minutes back, submerge yourself into an exciting novel, (like my Sometimes Marriage is a Real Crime – Smashwords.com, shameless plug) take a bubble bath or paint your nails – you can’t get into a potato chip bag with your nails wet, right? Write your strategies down so they’ll be available when you need them. Continue to strive for excellence!