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  • Writer's pictureLaura A. Farrar

Perfection is the enemy of done!

In life, there can be fear over the opinions of others and missing the mark before God. It often will manifest in useless attempts to be perfect. We in Christ know that we can never be perfect. However, we are supposed to allow God to make us perfect in Him. This means we should respond with obedience and good works, but understanding God is the finisher in our lives. He takes our good works and uses them for His Glory and not ours. We get the honor of being called.

What does all of that mean when it comes to our work here on earth as a writer?

Work hard, but let God fill in the gaps. If you never accept that understanding, what you are writing will never be perfect in your own eyes; you will never be able to share it. There is risk involved. We worry that if we don’t do things just right, we let God down and ourselves. Allow me to let you off the hook. Both you and God know it will never be perfect. He knew that when He inspired you to do good works for Him.

When we were small children, we used to draw things for the adults we loved in our lives as gifts. Imagine your grand manuscript like the crayon imbued Christmas card you created for your mother, father, or special teacher. When you handed it to them, what was their reaction? Was it rejection, or was it a smile and a warm thank you? For most of us, it was a smile and a hug. That is what God will do for you too. We all know we cannot meet the standards of the masterpiece that God has provided us in His creation and His word, but we can be that little child that loves Him enough to honor him with what we have.

Perfectionism is ultimately a fear of rejection. Do not let it rule over you. Allow yourself to call it done and share your giftings with others. Learning to trust someone can be hard in this area, but it will free you. Learning to trust that God will not reject you over your inability to bring a perfect offering and still bringing your humble struggle to Him is hard for those of us that are hurting and weak, but do it anyway. You don’t have to be perfect. That’s what the friendship of Jesus is to resolve for us.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

What is Perfectionism? (

People with perfectionism hold themselves to impossibly high standards. They think what they do is never good enough.

Some people mistakenly believe that perfectionism is a healthy motivator, but that’s not the case. Perfectionism can make you feel unhappy with your life. It can lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-harm. Eventually, it can also lead you to stop trying to succeed. Even mild cases can interfere with your quality of life, affecting your personal relationships, education, or work.

Perfectionism can affect young people as well as adults. Children and teenagers are often driven to be overachievers in their schoolwork as well as activities such as sports, clubs, community service, and jobs. This can lead to an obsession with success. Ultimately, it can interfere with the ability to achieve it.

You may be experiencing perfectionism if you:

  • feel like you fail at everything you try

  • procrastinate regularly — you might resist starting a task because you’re afraid that you’ll be unable to complete it perfectly

  • struggle to relax and share your thoughts and feelings

  • become very controlling in your personal and professional relationships

  • become obsessed with rules, lists, and work, or alternately, become extremely apathetic

To lessen perfectionism, it may help to:

  • set realistic, attainable goals

  • break up overwhelming tasks into small steps

  • focus on one activity or task at a time

  • acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes

  • recognize that most mistakes present learning opportunities

  • confront fears of failure by remaining realistic about possible outcomes

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