Overcoming The Perfectionist Syndrome


I’m sure that none of you deal with this, but I happen to struggle with perfection.

In my reprobate mind, I just have to be perfect at everything and anything I do.

Whether blogging, homemaking, marriage or otherwise, I strive to achieve my own deluded idea of what perfect is.

I strive to be the perfect Christian, even though I know there’s no such thing.

I want to be the perfect wife even when I know that my idea of a perfect wife is 380 degrees different from what my husband needs as a wife.

I even try to be the perfect parent but God has a funny way of using my children to show me how imperfect my parenting really is.

Why do I drive myself nuts trying to be what I’ll never be?

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Do you know that I have a mental list of the exact steps necessary to be the perfect wife, mother, Christian, friend and blogger?

You should see it.

If I were to write it out on paper it would probably be long enough to wrap around the earth three times.

On the other hand, if you were to ask my children and husband what I had to do to be perfect in their eyes they’d probably give a simple response.

It would be so clear…

…so understandable…

…so easy.

Their requirement wouldn’t take many words. It would not require much paper if they were to write it down.

It would be so…

S – I –M – P – L – E.

Why is it that I avoid simple and gravitate toward complicated?

I find it so easy to stray back to the path that I’ve worn for complicated living. I’ve been on the path so often that I’ve worn it thin. I know ‘complicated’. I know it like the back of my hand. It’s so familiar to me to navigate yet so burdensome.

So why is it that I choose the complicated path versus the simple path?

Maybe it’s the way that I was raised. Maybe it’s me believing the hype about what perfect looks like in our society.

I can rest assured, regardless of the why, that every time I get back into my “PERFECTION” rut, God will bring to my remembrance one of my favorite passages.

It’s the story of two sisters who had a very special guest coming to visit. It shows me a clear picture of who I am and who I want to be.

38Now it came to pass, as they went, that (Jesus) entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

 39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

 40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

 41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

 42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:38-42

While my checklist of what it takes to perfect goes on for miles and miles, I know that it will never allow me achieve perfection. All of my careful planning, list making and busy work will never allow me to be P-E-R-F-E-C-T.

What it will produce is stress, bitterness, frustration and a loss of right relationship with Christ and those that I love most.

Busy work is designed to take me out of relationship with Christ, my husband and my children. If I follow the path Martha I will continue to chase the mirage of perfection and lose the more excellent benefit of relationship with Christ and other believers.

So how do I apply these biblical truths to my life?

  • I start by giving up on the dream of perfection. Even though I’ve done it time and time again, I must recommit myself to this step each time I get off track.
  • I must then forsake the idea that there is something wrong with NOT DOING something all of the time.
  • I must also prioritize according to my purpose. My calling is not to housekeeping, blogging or any other title that I’ve accepted. My calling is to Christ-Likeness. How else am I to be like Christ unless I spend time with him and his people? I cannot allow myself to replace my relationship with Christ and my family with busy work.
  • Finally, I’ll need to work on keeping things S-I-M-P-L-E. I love how Jesus phrased it in Luke 10:42, when he said, “But one thing is needful”.  One this is all it takes. It seems so simple yet the one thing eludes me on many occasions. But thank God for coaxing me back on the right path. The one thing which I will strive to be perfect at is the act of sitting at God’s feet and awaiting His direction for my life.

Is there one thing that you need to work on today? If you are not too shy, leave a comment below telling me how you will apply today’s post to your life.