Resolve: Strive For Excellence Rather Than Perfection

Do you know anyone who is perfect? Friends, family members, co-workers? No? (Some might think so, but they’re not!)

perfect peopleSo 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.

 

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15 thoughts on “Resolve: Strive For Excellence Rather Than Perfection

  1. Hahaha, this made me laugh 😀
    I really enjoyed reading your post, thanks! I never heard of fried butter also lol.
    You make a very good point, strive for excellence not perfection. That is so liberating! 🙂

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  2. How true, and if anything, mistakes are the best lessons on success we can discover. It gives us the grounds to see what went wrong, how to improve, and we can encorporate that into future actions, therefore making us better. Great post Ellie, thanks for directing me to this!

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    • Exactly! Eureka – you got it and now start writing that novel. I probably won’t live long enough to see it, but I believe you have many literary awards in your future. Self-doubt is self-defeating and doesn’t come from God. You are an excellent writer, journalist, interviewer – the world deserves to see how professional a writer you can be!

      Writing doesn’t necessarily change the world, but it definitely changes the one who writes! Blessings,

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  3. I completely agree! I just wish i could get my brain to agree and cooperate!! I desperately want to strive for excellence and not perfection. I’ve suffered from that since … forever but am trying to reverse it, somehow! I loved reading this and hope to read many more. Thank you for sharing yourself and your insights with the world. Blessings and peace to you!

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    • Hi! I’m so happy you are now following my blog. I have the BEST followers ever! Thanks so much for commenting. I really enjoy your blog and I pray that you are striving for health, not to only be skinny. I’ve counseled some tiny gals who were not healthy either!

      You’re right – it’s tough to get rid of that mind-set of striving for perfection. You might have grown up similar to me.(which I’ve never mentioned this before) I grew up trying to be perfect, thinking that maybe THEN I would feel loved. It’s a struggle, you’re right about that. As you grow older, gradually I’ve grown through it and now it’s more important to have a great testimony and care about what God thinks about us. Hang in there and I hope my posts will inspire you to always be your healthiest self. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if it will help. Blessings,

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  4. Thank you Ellie for such excellent encouragement!! I was dropped off at WW when I was 10 years old. It has been a lifetime of dieting. About 4 years ago, I finally lost 143 lbs. Due to thyroid and thyroid surgery this last Spring I gained a small amount back. I had thought hopefully they have my thyroid levels close to getting better…it has been quite a struggle…so I would set forth on loosing that gain after the holidays. My plans once home came undone by various issues. I see now after reading your blog…maybe my “plan” wasn’t the Lord’s and I need to rethink His will…even in my healthier food choices.
    Thank you so very much for such a lovely reminder of seeking Him…even in this new years health choices. I always have in the past…I just “thought” I was on the right path!! 🙂 Isn’t God wonderful just to slow us down to hear His will…and not ours. To give ourselves a break and just take is one step at a time…in His direction. 🙂
    Thank you again Dear Friend!!
    k

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    • Yes, God is amazing! How can He love a sinner such as me? Hearing stories such as yours humbles me. I so enjoy encouraging others, thank you.

      Remember anything is fine in moderation and health is more important than skinniness. Whenever I want to “pig out” I must tell myself that I am an example to others and must “walk the walk” in order to stay credible. After all, if I didn’t practice what I preached, I wouldn’t be taken seriously any more than a Christian who got drunk, cheated and swore up a storm. Who’d want to be him? By being vibrant and alive even in my mid-sixties, hopefully others will want to emulate my common-sense advice. Blessings to you my new friend,

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