Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What Is Good

"The perfect is the enemy of the good." -Voltaire

How true this has proven to be in my life. The perfect crouches on my shoulder, disguised to look like an angel, when really it is a demon. The perfect entices me, becomes an idol, a false god, something for which I constantly strive. The perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect house, the perfect life.

Except in perfection, there is no room for grace. If we are capable of being perfect, we have no need for God or a savior. Perfection, then, would be a hollow prize; I could glorify myself and have faith and pride in myself, but I would still be missing something-- something that is more complicated and much more treasured than perfection. God. Love. Forgiveness. Grace. Humility.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6:8


  1. This is so true. I wish it was possible to simply say, "Stop being a perfectionist now, self. You've had your fun; let's just be real now."

  2. Ideally, I wouldn't be a perfectionist. ;-) Ironic, isn't it? lol

  3. LOL at your last comment. So true! Beautiful post.

    The longer I breathe, the longer I'm convinced that absolutes are not my friend.

  4. I guess it's okay to strive for perfection as long as you enjoy the journey trying to get there. It's like people who play sports. I say you should do it just for the fun of the game - - but then others say, "Why keep score if you don't want to win?" - - - so I guess there is an analogy between the sports thing and the perfectionist thing - - but it is too late to try and tie them together better than that.

  5. I wrote this in another post that I'm still working on, but I think it might fit well here, too. I think in our (quite worthy!) endeavor to follow and imitate Jesus, it can be easy to move into idolizing our own ideas of perfection, and also into not accepting grace for ourselves when we don't meet the standards (whether God's or our own). It's an easy line to cross, I think. At least it is for me, an admitted perfectionist. ;-)