Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Things Do Not Need to Be Perfect
In review of Ecclesiastes 11:4 it says, ”If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 TLB).
Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 - The uncertainties of life
A farmer who waits for the perfect condition will never plant. If they watch every cloud, they will never harvest. Just as I can't understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a baby growing inside it's mother's womb, so I cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. So plant my seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for I don't know if profit will come from one activity or another, or maybe both.
In these passages Solomon summarizes that life involves both risk and opportunity. Because life has no guarantees, Therefore, I must be prepared. Just because life is uncertain does not mean I should do nothing. I need a spirit of trust and adventure, facing life's risks and opportunities with God-directed enthusiasm and faith.
Waiting for perfect conditions will just turn into inactivity. This practical insight is especially applicable to my spiritual life. If I wait for the perfect time and place for studying God's Word, I will never begin. Likewise if I wait for the perfect church, I will never join. If I wait for the perfect ministry, I'll never serve. Take the steps needed now to grow spiritually. I shouldn't wait for conditions that may never exist.
When I learn how to relax in God’s liberating grace and break out of the prison of perfectionism, I will find a new level of joy and freedom for my life. Why? Because perfectionism is destructive to my life in several ways.
It defeats my initiative.
There are many projects I just haven’t been able to get started. I keep thinking, “One of these days I’m going to get around to it,” but I just can’t take that first step. One possible reason is perfectionism. I’m waiting for the perfect circumstance or timing, or I’m waiting until some condition occurs. When I set my standards so high, perfectionism will end up causing paralysis, and then I can’t get anything done. Today’s verse, Ecclesiastes 11:4 reminds me, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (TLB).
It damages my relationships.
Nobody likes being nagged or corrected all the time. It’s frustrating and irritating! The Bible says, “Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends” (Proverbs 17:9 TLB). Perfectionism—the desire to always correct—damages relationships because it’s rooted in insecurity. Perfectionists who are harsh and demanding on other people are really harsh and demanding on themselves.
It destroys my happiness.
Ecclesiastes 7:16 says, “Don’t be too virtuous, and don’t be too wise. Why make yourself miserable?” (GW). This verse isn’t talking about genuine righteousness or real wisdom. It’s talking about perfectionism. I can transform any virtue into a vice by taking it to the extreme.
My worst nag lives under my skin, because I am my own worst critic. Since I tend to resent and even dislike people who nag my, if I’m always nagging myself, what does that say about me? It says that I don’t like myself. I think of myself as not good enough. And I think reminding myself what’s wrong with me is going to motivate me into doing the right thing. It’s not! That’s called perfectionism, and it just causes me to constantly put myself down.
There’s just one antidote to perfectionism. It’s not in a self-help book or a doctor’s office. I can only learn to relax when I fully experience the liberating grace of God.
Don't wait for everything to be perfect, get started.
What this means to me:
If I wait until the perfect conditions, I will never get anything done.
In summary, If I wait for the perfect conditions, I'll never get started. I just need to do what needs to be done. Life involves both risk and opportunity. There are no guarantees. I just need to face life's risks and opportunities with God-directed enthusiasm and faith. Waiting for the perfect or right conditions just turns into inactivity. I can only learn to relax when I fully experience the liberating grace of God.
Today the notion of having so many projects I just haven’t been able to get started, really rings an accord. I do keep thinking that one of these days I’m going to be able to get started. I think I need to stop waiting for the perfect circumstance, timing or condition to occur, and just get started. Things do not need to be perfect. This morning Father in addition to asking you for wisdom and guidance for my day, I ask that you help me to just get some long term projects going. I don’t need to wait for things to be perfect. These things I pray in your son Jesus name, Amen!
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