Are you a perfectionist?

Believe it or not, I’m a bit of a perfectionist myself. My definition of ‘good enough’ usually means doing something with little to zero mistakes. If I do something, and it’s not as good as it could be, it is now wholly terrible. Irredeemable. I shouldn’t have even tried.

Perfectionism is a stealer of joy. I don’t know if there’s any quicker way to steal your or someone else’s joy than to hold things to a human standard of perfection. There’s no bigger way to shut down your creativity or to starve yourself from trying.

So what do we, the perfectionists of the world, do about it?

I find that I struggle with perfectionism in my writing, specifically. My craft is important to me, so it’s understandable that I want it to be the best it can be. I often hold myself to the highest standard possible. After all, I’m doing this for God, right?

Well, here’s what God had to say about it this week.

Exodus 35

As part of my schooling, I’m reading the entire bible in a year. Today, I stumbled upon Exodus 35. For context, the Israelites have just messed up big time (shocker). Moses was hanging out on Mount Sinai with God. They were chatting and having a good time, and God was instructing him on how to build the Tabernacle, what the Ten Commandments were, etc.

In human fashion, the Israelites freaked out, turned to their old ways, and asked Aaron to build a golden calf. (I challenge you to read all of this in one sitting. Getting through all the instructions, all the furniture, the Tabernacle, etc., without skipping any detail was rough for me).

Then we get to Exodus 35. It’s here that they begin to build the Tabernacle, and Moses calls for people willing to contribute. (I also challenge you to read Exodus 35 to understand what I’m talking about).

A particular verse stood out to me.

“All the women whose hearts stirred them to use their skill spun the goats’ hair.

Exodus 35:26

It’s an odd line to stand out, but it got me thinking.

God wanted people of willing hearts to contribute materials to help build the Tabernacle, but He also wanted them to contribute their skills! As a Christian writer, this is the essence of what we are doing.

There is one requirement God has for us.

Have a willing heart.

The requirement is a shallow bar. You don’t have to be the best of the best. You don’t need to be ultimately perfect. You just need to be willing.

Be willing to grow. To be ready to improve your skills and learn. Be willing to write the story God has put on your heart and listen intently to His words.

Ultimately, this applies to way more than just my writing. It applies to my entire life! Am I a willing heart for God to use?

In some areas of my life: Absolutely. Other areas need some work. But I’m willing to grow. I’m willing and actively seeking to learn and try new things.

So, as you set out to do the hard things you feel God has called you to do this week, remember that you’re willing.

Unless you’re not willing, then you should probably feel convicted.

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