Excellence vs. Perfection

The pursuit of perfection is the pitfall of many ministers. The logic seems to go like this, since we serve a holy (meaning perfect) God, we must be like God. Ask any minister trapped in the pursuit of perfection and he will tell you he is not perfect, but deep down he wants to be. He does not want to fail. He does not want to make a mistake. He knows both will happen, but his heart is so set on perfection he cannot give himself the same grace he regularly extends to others. The trap is unrealistic and unnerving.

The pursuit of excellence is a much more manageable path. Pursuing excellence means you want to give your best but you do not expect your best to always be attainable. Pursuing excellence means you give yourself permission to make mistakes. It means some Sundays you go home knowing you did not preach your best, but it’s ok. It means sometimes you can’t be at that meeting, or bedside, or service. It means there are times when you let people down.

For all of you who have walked the rugged path of perfection, I don’t know how we set our hearts on something we know is not possible, but I do know that if we look to our Lord and remember His grace we can learn to be gracious to ourselves. May we hear the words of our Lord in our hearts, “I love you.” “It’s ok.” “My grace is sufficient, my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Be excellent!

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