Thursday, June 26, 2008


I have a problem (as if I have only one problem!): I wait for everything to be perfected. I am ready to contribute any measure of my energy to achieve perfection in anything I do. This includes handling of mails, medical records, bills, other important documents, bible study, prayer, order of house hold items and the list goes on.

I think I should give few examples:

1. Unless there is a 'perfect' plan, I hesitate to do things such as travel, barbecue, picnic... (My perfectionism usually ruins the fun.)
2. Normal schedule/timings of daily life has to be planned and executed as planned.
3. Spending of money.
4. Disciplining kids and wife (!).

You get the picture. I am a control-freak! The irony is I hate other control-freaks!

This spirit of perfectionism demands my mind, peace, time and energy.

I love the way Jesus dealt with the messy people, but I find myself failing to donate my time towards something which is not in my 'schedule'. I want to visit some people, but if it messes my normal life schedule, I hesitate.

One thing I know for sure, this spirit is not of God. Because God says, 'do not worry about tomorrow'. Live one day at a time. Do not be anxious. Live in the present moment. I do this some times but then I fall into the stinking perfectionism again...aaarg!


Nicole said...

I deal with this too. Especially with household organization! I can't stand living in a filthy place and things put where they don't belong. In my mind everything has a place, and it drives me in sain it things are ut of place and messy. My perfectionism drives my husband in sain! I am learning how to just relax and not take things so seriously. I want to start to live simpler and not make life more complicated than it actually is. I mean, I honestly make things way too difficult and I hate that! Living simple is harder said than done!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Joel Brueseke said...

Man, I remember as a boy I always had a messy room but I hated always trying to find things, and I ended up becoming legalistically neat and tidy. I guess this worked fine for "me" when I was single, but then I got married and I found that my perfectionism caused lots of problems! In other words, on my own I was my own standard, but suddenly I found myself with someone who didn't have the same "standard" as me and I really hated it! I thought I was a loving person, but when it came down to actually loving a person, I found that my legalism/perfection kept me from really loving someone!

I was constantly picking up my wife's things and putting them in a single pile for her to sort through and put away. Eventually, the kids came along and I ended up having to give up on my neat and tidy life! I can now barely keep my own things organized because there's just too much 'stuff' in our house. :)

It frustrates me that I can't have a neat and tidy house. I'm simply too tired of trying to manage it all! And so I guess I've "learned" (reluctantly) to live with it. But here's the thing - I have more freedom when I focus on the people and not the mess.

All this reminds me of why it's so hard for a legalist Christian to accept grace. The legalist is focused on sin; on the mess. The legalist is focused on making sure the person keeps their mess (sin) straightened up - and doesn't even make a mess in the first place. They can't look past the mess to meet the person right where they're at.

But to your point.... you're right, Bino. In Christ we're called to rest, to live one day at a time, to not be anxious. I struggle with the control of my time, especially on weekday mornings. I am home in the mornings, and I go to work in the afternoon, after lunch. I enjoy my "freedom" of being home and being able to do whatever I want. And so if something comes up, such as a doctor appointment or a hair cut or reaching out to a friend, I get frazzled because my own "way" is messed with! This is one area in which I really need to let go of my own way and live moment by moment, not expecting my own "way" to always continue as is.