Perfectionism

At the last point today, I decided I’d blog about perfectionism. This is something I struggle with greatly, and chances are, a large number of you Christians out there do as well. Now do we believe in the idea of Christian perfection. Yes we do. However, we also realize that in the here and now, we have not yet attained it, but beat ourselves up for not having done so.

In some ways, this desire is in all of us. Why does the child cry at the store? Simple. The world isn’t perfect. They’re not getting their toy or brother is hitting them or Mommy isn’t giving them the attention they want. This longing in us is a good thing. Unfortunately, we put it at a time where it doesn’t apply.

<>┬áThis kind of thinking does not allow us to make any mistakes and if we do, we make the worst one of beating ourselves up for it. If we were really good Christians, we would not make such mistakes. No one’s justifying committing a sin of course. However, when we commit them, it doesn’t do us good to endlessly beat ourselves up for them.

I think this also applies to our constant need for certainty. One reason I didn’t ask a girl out usually in High School was because I wasn’t certain about them. Geez. Who is? Unfortunately, I still find such a trait in me today. If absolute certainty over an issue doesn’t exist, then I am in anxiety over it. That 1% chance of being wrong is exaggerated to 100%.

What decision in life do we face with certainty? What man on his wedding day doesn’t have any case of cold feet? In fact, why would he have cold feet? Simple. He’s making an important decision. I don’t have anxiety about shopping at the grocery store because that’s not a major life event. I do about other decisions though that are major life events.

I also find this in the area of apologetics. Did I give the perfect answer? I think those of us in this field can fall into rough territory if we count our success by the number of converts we see. Christ, at the end of his earthly ministry, did not have a huge multitude following him. In fact, they were quite against him. Are we to say he was poor with his arguments? The synagogues ran Paul out. Was he poor with his? Felix told him that he was insane even!

Naturally, if our answers aren’t perfect, we will begin the comparison game. Who has the perfect answer? Well, it seems like everyone else does. However, if we were honest, we’d see they don’t even have what we have. Converts are actually few and far between in this field.

So what good do we do in apologetics? We do see converts of course, but we also deal with hard questions and remove any threat in them. Our answers are a blessing to those who are in the church. It has been a huge blessing to me when someone contacts me out of the blue and says something that is an encouragement to me based on something I’ve said.

What can I say on this? Don’t beat yourself up. Let the past go. Yeah. It’s hard. I wish I knew how to do it. In this, consider me a beggar telling other beggars where to get bread. I am merely a wounded soldier trying to help others with the same wounds.