How many of us are perfectionists? We laugh it off and say it's because we are control freaks and want everything to turn out perfectly. But isn't there usually more? We act like everything is perfect on the outside, completely put together, spotless for the world to see on any given day. But oftentimes the outward appearance is our way of hiding. It is our mask so that others don't dare find out about what's on the inside - the brokenness, the hurt, the ache for approval. We put our all into sports and school - striving for perfection - striving ultimately for our parents approval and to hear the words "I'm proud of you." We put on a smile when we're dying inside...people wouldn't really want to hear about our problems, no one wants the broken me, they just want the fun and put together me.
And in turn, we give our hearts to perfectionism. Yes, if we just act like we have it all together, our problems will be solved. We can shove the hurt, shame, and emptiness deep enough that it won't ever leak out.
But is it working?
Look at this passage from Mark 2:13-17....
Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.
Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests,
along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There
were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?"
When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy
people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not
those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are
That last line is the one that jumps off the page for me. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous. The ones that I came for, the ones that I want, he says are those who know they are sinners. Jesus says he knows that its just an act. Our trying to act like everything is good on the outside. He asks us - don't give your heart to perfectionism - instead - give your heart to a perfect savior. Jesus, our perfect savior, wants us to be real and honest with ourselves and with him. Saying - thanks, Jesus, but I've got this one, I'll figure it out on my own - gets us no where. Admitting that we don't have it all together and asking Jesus if we can just rest in Him - when we finally do that - we realize we always were the sick who needed a doctor. We just thought we could get away with putting a band-aid on it.