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"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths,
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."
~ Psalms 25:4,5

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Perfect is the enemy of...

...Good Enough.

My husband is a structural engineer - he puts complicated math equations to big hunks of concrete to make buildings stand up.  He lives by the motto: "Perfect is the enemy of good enough."  As he's calculating, he could spend lots of time (and time = money) to come up with the strongEST, cheapEST, most "perfect" combination when a strong enough, cost effective calculation is "good enough."  People are safe without costing too much on the manufacturer; to spend more time to make it perfect could cost enough more money that it's NOT worth it to be "perfect."

My dear husband has helped me apply this principle on the home front as well.  As a recovering perfectionist, I'm learning when good enough is good enough.

I was journaling yesterday morning.  I was processing with the LORD about something specific. It related to timing on when to do something and how best to go about it.  I was thinking of how there is what I consider the "right way," which would be the "perfect" way, following the plan to the "T."  But for this recovering perfectionist who has followed a similar plan to the "T" before, that was quite overwhelming and I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to THAT.  I wrote in my journal, "I guess if I am spending money to do it, I might as well 'do it right' or at least 'do it well.'"  And then my mind (a.k.a the Holy Spirit, sometimes:)) took me on a rabbit trail (the thought processes that are exactly why this blog outlet is a blessing to me:))...Writing the word "Well" made me think of Matthew 25:21,23 "Well done, good and faithful servant...."

No where in that passage is the master asking for perfection.  The servant is commended for being faithful, for being good, for "doing well."

This specific instance I was processing with the LORD is not connected to an area of sin or even a character issue.  It does involve staying in step with the Spirit, a heart of obedience, and a sensitivity to the LORD, but shouldn't all things!?!

It made me think of the process of sanctification that we are all in.  The word "process" implies in and of itself that there is going to be imperfection.  How freeing!  Not that that is an excuse TO sin (Romans 6:1,2), but in the instances where we step out on our own strength instead of walking with the Spirit, when our rebellious hearts choose our own way instead of submitting in obedience, when I am not being sensitive to the LORD's presence - in those times of the PROCESS, I can cling to GRACE instead of feeling defeated by the enemy of perfectionism.  I can pause, take a deep breath in the present presence of The Great I AM and get back in step with the Spirit, remembering Titus 3:5.

1 comment:

  1. Good words of wisdom. I typically avoid the word "enough," but I especially like your point that the Lord praises His servant, not for being perfect, but for doing "well." As believers, we often use those words interchangeably, but they are vastly different. Thanks for that exposition tonight!