Tuesday, December 9, 2008

what I learned today

I came across this information today and found it to be fascinating...

A perfectionist is someone whose pursuit of excellence has become obsessive since it is a means, not of pleasing God, but of providing a sense of self-worth. This unknown source goes on to say...perfectionism is an enemy of excellence.

Perfectionism is allied with impaired productivity, emotional disturbances, impaired health, loneliness, and disturbed personal relationships. The root of the problem is embedded in dichotomous, all-or-nothing thought patterns. The perfectionist is trapped in a “saint-or-sinner” syndrome, which sees partial success as total failure. Self-esteem is contingent on outstanding achievement and total competence.

I always have viewed perfectionism as a worthy goal. I admire people who achieve things that appear perfect. I have never heard anything negative about a perfectionist, or really never given any thought to the fact it is connected to self worth.

The statement that it is the enemy of excellence is interesting as well. I care terribly about excellence, I have always wanted to offer my most excellent work to the Lord. I am by no stretch of the imagination however, a perfectionist. (Those that know me are laughing, I hear you!) So I learned today being a perfectionist is not something worth pursuing. (That's a relief)

I do think God expects our best, but he never wants us to drive ourselves crazy trying to be perfect. It certainly has no affect on His value of us. Martha in the Bible wanted everything to be perfect, guess who God complimented? Mary - she listened.

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