Can We Ever Be Perfect?

Can We Ever Be Perfect?

Seeking perfection is Paralyzing.
Seeking perfection is Paralyzing.

I finished the first draft of my novel Fireweed five years ago. Since then, I have read and rewritten parts of it many times. I have paid for two professional edits as well. Two weeks ago, I sat up until 4:00 a.m. giving Fireweed its last read through. I still found simple mistakes and spots to improve. It wasn’t perfect, I’m sure, but the time had come to abandon the task and send Fireweed to the publisher.

Our lives are like that manuscript. We do our best and we make mistakes. We ask forgiveness. We learn a better way. We live some more and find that transformation is not complete. We’re not yet perfect. I’m sure on the day I die, I will look at my life and find places that need to be rewritten. I will still need forgiveness.

Our Christian faith encourages me never to abandon my efforts at improvement. Even though I cannot attain perfection on my own, God’s love will bring perfection into my life. God came in Jesus to show us God’s unconditional love. From the agony of the cross, Jesus continued to love and forgive, continued to offer yet another opportunity for transformation.

Once printed, Fireweed’s remaining errors will be frozen in time for all to see. The blessing of our Christian faith is that God never abandons us. Yes, death will come to all of us, but the victory of resurrection means God’s love transforms us, washes us clean, prepares us with perfection for the life to come. I’m grateful for that assurance. It gives me courage to try again tomorrow, never to stop rewriting my life.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

2 thoughts on “Can We Ever Be Perfect?”

  1. Amen to that. Perfectionism can bind us up and paralyze us. I know that life. I was trying to control everything around me because someone stronger than I had controlled me and wasn’t going to let that happen again. Trying to do one’s best is admirable, but insisting on perfection from ourselves is another matter altogether. I never wrote a word in my son’s baby book because I wanted to take a calligraphy class first so the lettering would be perfect for anyone to read in the future. I actually have very nice printing and writing skills, but they weren’t good enough at that time. My son is 39 now and the pages remain blank. The good news is that I can recite in great detail about every milestone without thinking too long. But, I am not proud of myself for being so foolish.

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