Less than Perfect

Pretty Pretty Please

I’m trying to figure out when society became obsessed with perfection. I’ve been sitting at my desk for almost an hour trying to come up with the perfect blog post. Meanwhile, in the back of my head I’m trying to figure out the perfect present for my family, the perfect song to listen to, and the perfect lunch. Pinterest means every mom is expected to bring stellar desserts for their kids birthday party, decorations have to be spectacular yet cheap and of course made from all recycled materials. And teen girls will take about 7 selfies before finding the perfect one, not to mention they will spend about 16 minutes just setting up the “selfie session”. And while some this can easily go into a weird self diagnosed OCD realm, perfection is an expectation we all have.

When I visit other churches, I don’t enjoy myself. I’m too busy either trying to figure out ideas to bring back or critiquing them on what they should be doing better. I can pick out the one note in a 5 minute song that just fell a bit flat and fixate on it until I think the whole song and band were terrible. I’m starting to lose my passion for movies because they aren’t original enough, or when they are original they had bad acting or an under developed story line. My drive for perfection hasn’t increased the quality of my life, it’s starting to crash it. There are a few areas where I still really appreciate the art of perfection. I’m very happy that the doctor who preformed surgery on my hand didn’t make any mistakes. I really hope that the people who made my car did a perfect job.  

Be Ye Perfect

But overall, we are obsessed with perfection. After all, Jesus did say “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” But perfection as society sees it is not exactly what he meant. Jesus was talking about loving your enemies, perfectly loving everyone as God perfectly loves them. This means that we have to stop holding others up to unrealistic expectations. They will not always be perfect, they will make mistakes, they will disappoint us in some way. But we will love them all the more because of that. It’s ok if my two year olds socks don’t match or if he has a bit of chocolate smeared on his shirt. My five year old will still love me and be excited no matter what Christmas morning, even if he doesn’t get the Wii U that he’s been asking for. No one is going to die if I accidentally hit a wrong chord, or if my phone goes off in church, or any of the other little things that I stress about during the day. Perfection in and of itself can come between us and loving each other. So drop the pretense, forget about trying to have everything just right, and simply love one another.

-Nathan


Nathan Persell serves as our Youth Director. When he's not leading devotions and playing basketball with teenagers, he enjoys disc golf and bike riding. Learn more about Nathan here.