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Summary: As the saying goes, perfectionists take great pains, and they give them to others.

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Overcoming Perfectionism (Heb 12:2)

"Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith." (Heb 12:2)

"My grace is sufficient for you for my power is my made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor 12:9,10)

"Every good and perfect gift is from above." (James 1:17)

"He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ." (Phil. 1:6)

Quote: As the saying goes, perfectionists take great pains, and they give them to others. (Scott Grant)

Quote: Perfection is nothing less than idolatry. Only God is perfect. When we aspire to perfection, we are making ourselves out to be God. But deep down we know we’re unqualified to be God, at the very least for the simple reason that we can’t control things. Therefore, we become obsessive about control, and we are reluctant to trust anyone with anything that might reflect poorly on us if it isn’t done to our exacting specifications. (Scott Grant)

Ask the Lord God our Father, the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ to be responsible for making you into what is best in God’s eyes, not in your own. Many obsessive compulsive people struggle with their own sense of self-worth as a result of their inability to cope with less than perfectionism. We need to trust God to help us learn to be content with whatever circumstances we find ourselves in - whether it means abasing or abounding. Let us appropriate the promise, "I have strength for all things through Christ who empowers me. I am ready for anything and equal to every challenge with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power." (Phil. 4:13 - Amplified Bible)

ARE YOU A PERFECTIONIST?

Do you feel like what you accomplish is never quite good enough?

Do you often put off handing in papers or projects, waiting to get them just right?

Do you feel you must give more than 100% on everything you do or else you will be mediocre or even a failure?

If so, rather than simply working toward success, you may in fact be trying to be perfect - too perfect!

Perfectionism refers to self-defeating thoughts and behaviours associated with high and unrealistic goals. Perfectionism is often mistakenly seen as desirable or even necessary for success. Perfectionist attitudes actually interfere with success. The desire to be perfect can deny you a sense of satisfaction and cause you to achieve far less than people with more realistic goals.

CAUSES

If you are a perfectionist, it is likely that you learned early in life that you were mainly valued for your achievements. As a result you may have learned to value yourself only on the basis of other people`s approval. So your self-esteem may be based primarily on external standards. This can leave you vulnerable and sensitive to the opinions and criticism of others. To protect yourself you may decide that being perfect is your only defense.

Perfectionism is often associated with the following:

1. Fear of failure. Perfectionists often equate failure to achieve their goals with a lack of personal worth or value. (James 1:2-5) "Count it all joy when you encounter various trials knowing that patience has its perfect work that we may become perfect not lacking in anything."

2. Fear of making mistakes. Perfectionists often equate mistakes with failure. In building their lives around avoiding mistakes, perfectionists miss opportunities to learn and grow. (Rom 8:31,32) If God is for us who can be against us.

3. Fear of disapproval. If they let others see their flaws, perfectionists often fear that they will no longer be accepted. Trying to be perfect is a way of trying to protect themselves from criticism, rejection, and disapproval. (I John 4:18)

4. All-or-nothing thinking. Perfectionists frequently believe that they are worthless if their accomplishments are not perfect. Perfectionists have difficulty seeing situations in perspective. For example, a straight ‘A’ student who receives a ‘B’ might believe, "I am a total failure". (Prov 3:5,6)

5. Over-emphasis on ‘should’, ‘must’ and ‘ought’. Perfectionists often live with an endless list of rigid rules for what they must accomplish. With the emphasis on how everything has to be done, perfectionists rarely listen to what they really feel like doing. Paul wrote, "Live by the Spirit and do not be burdened by a yoke of slavery." (Gal 5)

6. Never good enough. Perfectionists tend to see others as achieving success with a minimum of effort, few errors, little emotional stress, and maximum self-confidence. At the same time, perfectionists view their own efforts as unending and forever inadequate. (2 Cor 3:5,6) "Not that we are adequate to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God who makes us adequate - competent as servants of the new covenant. Not of the letter but by the Spirit."

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