I admit it. I touch up photos whenever I can. I fuss over the lighting, but mostly I fuss over wrinkles. My photo editing options on my iPad are limited, so to remove wrinkles I would have to go to our desktop computer which lately I have been to lazy to do that. Recently, I was trying to achieve perfection on a head shot for my website. (Not the one pictured here. This one was untouched.) Perfection was not to be achieved. I had to choose between proper lighting and wrinkles. Wrinkles won.
Do you fall prey to living up to perfection? It shows up in all aspects of our lives. The house has to look just so, clothes have to be flattering, and work performance has to be unblemished all for the approval of others. Yep, I said it. I do this approval in the eyes of others. Do you?
This is more than simple encouragement and praise. We all need that. I’m referring to this ugly sin called pride. There is a fine line between taking pride in what you do and who you are and letting perfection rule your time and energy. I’m embarrassed at how much time I spent fussing over pictures of me. Pride is sneaky and slips in easily to the thought process.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 NIV).
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2 NIV).
Perfection is one of those areas that God has to keep convicting me on. I strive for humility, but there are a few areas that perfection and pride still wriggle into my thoughts and emotions. I could easily blame media, but I know that at the root of pride is fear. To say I’m afraid of looking old would be true. But, why? I’m still searching for the answer to that and trust that one day God will bring me to a place where I will embrace my age, which is now closer to 50 than 40, and my wrinkles.
A place to start is gratitude. I am continually reminded that gratitude changes my heart. I have much to be grateful for in my life. My family and my health are continually on my gratitude list.
I also offer myself a little grace. I am much better with my perfection and pride issues than I was 10 years ago, and night and day better than 20 years ago.
If you struggle with perfection and pride as I do, begin with gratitude and grace. Ask God to show you what you are fearing. He will. It might sting at first. It always does for me, but from that will grow humility and a kinder heart.
Are you ready to conquer your heart with God? Your life will never be the same. Share your victories over perfection and we will all be encouraged.