Do you know anyone who is perfect? Friends, family members, co-workers? No? (Some might think so, but they’re not!)
So do you expect perfection from yourself? Do you think your perfection will make others like and appreciate you more? Romans 3:10 tells us that there has been only one perfect person born, our Lord, and most people didn’t like him while he was on earth. Humans can’t be perfect no matter how hard they try. No one else is Christ. If God doesn’t expect perfection from us; only obedience and goodness, why do we think we are better than God at achieving it?
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
As we begin the “silly-season” of dieting, I expect many will expect perfection from themselves. When they fail to achieve it, they’ll falter and give up. Therefore, strive for excellence, not perfection.
Let me relate again, my favorite story on excellence versus perfection:
“Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, the mighty Ruler of Galatica sent two space ships to earth . . . (well, I didn’t say 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 instructed him to go to Earth and find everything that was good, and bring all that he found back to him in his spaceship.
Well, after a short time the first Explorer arrived back home. The King rubbed his hands together, jumping up and down, anxiously awaiting all the provisions he’d see. But the first Explorer arrived back empty-handed.
“What’s 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 at all! Why, there was pollution and people playing 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 second Explorer’s return.
Finally, he arrived back and was summoned to the Palace.
“Were you able to find anything of excellence there?” His King asked discouragingly.
“Oh gracious Sire, 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 simply too much excellence in that world!”
So the moral of the story is, if you search for perfection you won’t find it anywhere, but search for excellence and it will be all around you.
God made us human, not perfect. Striving for excellence will make you pleased with what you accomplished rather than expecting personal perfection which frustrates and discourages.
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.”
Give yourself a break! Realize that even if you make mistakes, you certainly can and will strive to do better in the future. Continue talking yourself into success. Mistakes are simply wonderful opportunities to learn to overcome obstacles in the future.