“As long as you feel pain, you’re still alive. As long as you make mistakes, you’re still human. And as long as you keep trying, there’s still hope.” ~ Susan Gale
Are any of us perfect? The answer to that should be obvious. The answer is no. Do many of us want to be perfect? Well, the answer to that is obvious as well and it’s yes. That causes much conflict for perfectionists because when all is said and done, they have to admit to their imperfection. Oh, let me make this more personal: I have to admit to my imperfection.
Being a perfectionist is both a blessing and a curse. It gives people a drive to succeed, to do better, to excel. The curse is that perfectionists often do not see the successes they have achieved because all they can see is the imperfection in the success. They could’ve done this better, they should’ve tried to do that instead, et cetera. In the process of “failing”, some perfectionists give up. They collapse into a morass of depression. They quit trying.
Gale reminds us that, “as long as you keep trying, there’s still hope.” And hope is what feeds our drive to continue striving. We have to be busy with our lives, doing our best, and accepting our limitations. When we can do so, we will become much more comfortable with ourselves. That will actually help us to achieve more than we could have done under the anxiety of perfectionism.
Where in the world am I going with this reflection? Simply this: some people try too hard in their spiritual lives. They try too hard to be holy. They try too hard to be saints. They try too hard to be perfect. Holiness is a process, my friends. Sainthood comes after we die. Perfection is only a vision on earth and will not come until God perfects us in heaven.
Don’t set the bar so high that you give up on your spiritual life. Any — and I mean ANY — improvement that you make in your spiritual life, in your relationship with God, will most assuredly please the Lord. Give Him your best even if you don’t think it’s good enough. Serve His people with everything you’ve got, even if you think you are lacking. God will fill what is lacking and make your attempt complete.
FAITH ACTION: Don’t let anyone or anything prevent you from continuing to try. Ask God for the help that you need. Have hope.