Perfection vs. Excellence

Happy New Year!
It’s 2015, and I want to share something I have been practicing for the last 25 years.
A lot of people are perfectionists. They mess with a trivial thing until it is just right, they weep when they make small mistakes, they expect others to be better than any human can possibly be because they expect the same of themselves. However, the root problem of being a perfectionist is that it is totally, altogether and completely impossible. Excellence is possible. Perfection is not possible.
Therefore, 25 years ago I gave up perfectionism, going for the best I can pull off instead. I made this u turn because I read these verses in the Bible. “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11
There is so much in that verse you could spend your whole life practicing (hey, what a great idea). However, I’ll concentrate on two things. We are not called to approve what is perfect, but what is excellent. since that is so, why should we think we can accomplish more than what is excellent? Think of the applications. Parents will praise their children for best efforts instead of home runs or touchdowns or straight A’s. Husbands and wives will look for the well done in each other. Friends will speak up when they recognize honest effort. I will encourage myself at the little milestones, instead of beat myself up for the big picture goal I didn’t quite make.
Second, Love and approving excellence are connected. On my own, I do not love others well. I do a pretty good job of loving myself, but that’s where it ends. However, when I ask God to love others through me, I look good, real good. And when I’m living like that it is so easy to find the excellent.
So, for 2015 that’s my resolution. Practice excellence and approving it in others (and don’t forget to ask God to love others through you.)
Last thought: how could I write about this? I mean other than this blog. How could you write about this?

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