Being a perfectionist is difficult, but being a Christian perfectionist is overwhelming. I struggle to accept the label of “perfectionist” because I’m always saying, “It doesn’t have to be perfect.” As long as it gets done. But I really am my hardest critic. If I sleep in late, or miss a workout, if the clean laundry stays in the office for two weeks I start to feel like such a failure. Add to that list not feeling like I pray enough or love enough, when my anxiety runs high and my patience runs low I feel like a bad Christian too.
I want to do well. I know that obedience to God is a fruit of my faith and that it places me in a path of great blessings, but when I fail to follow the teachings in the Bible the guilt can be so heavy. I prayed the other day, “God, I feel like this Christian life is like walking on a razor-sharp mountain ridge and I’m constantly falling off one side or the other. Help me. What can I do?”
The next day, I was listening to a Christian meditation and the words of Jude caught my attention,
“ Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,” (Jude 24)
I imagined myself back on that precarious mountain ridge, the line of perfection not blunted. However, this time I rode on the back of Another. He who is able to keep me from stumbling is Jesus. He walked the line of perfection without error and, in faith, He carries me across the pass on His merit and strength, not mine. Talk about great joy! I can practice righteousness without the pressure of worrying that I will fail the test. I WILL FAIL, but Jesus has already been victorious- yes, He is able, even when I am not.
By Darlene Melcher