Perfectionists Not Allowed

25 Mar

Perfection is required to do a number of things on planet earth.

My three month old tv just stopped working.  If one part is messed up, it ruins the whole thing.  It needs to function perfectly.

The gas pedal and the brake pedal on my car need to function perfectly.  If not, the result will most likely be an accident.  There isn’t room for error.

And so it must be.  Much of what we experience needs to be done perfectly, especially when it pertains to life or death (airplanes, cars, medical equipment, etc), or “on” and “off” functionality (electronics, Internet connection, etc.).

But, beyond that, why the need for perfection?  When we as humans attempt to achieve perfection, we limit the amount of what we are capable of doing.  We end up taking few risks, while attempting to keep our “batting average” at 100%.  Even in the above mentioned concepts, the idea of perfection is flawed.  The world is constantly changing and new information is constantly discovered, so the brake pedal that you use today will be understood to be “imperfect” tomorrow and will need to be upgraded to a better, more “perfect” model.

This happens in churches, in businesses, in non-profits, in schools, and even in families.  We value perfection.  Being “exact” is the key to success (supposedly).  But, in the process of achieving perfection, we eliminate innovation, creativity and risk-taking.

Might I suggest a better way?


Could we motivate people towards excellence?  Could we communicate to people that we desire for them to take as many risks as possible to achieve the best possible outcome that they can dream of?

The best baseball players will never achieve a 100% batting average.

The best soccer goalies will let at least a few goals pastthem during their lifetime.

The best musical artists will have some horrible songs along the way.

Even the best actors will fail on their road to success…just ask Sandra Bullock about winning a “Razzie” award and an “Oscar” within two days of each other…epic fail one day, then overwhelming success the next.

Let me stress this:

Food doesn’t need perfection…it needs creativity.

Acting doesn’t need perfection…it needs passion.

Music doesn’t need perfection…it needs soul.

A sport doesn’t need perfection…it needs drive.

Speeches don’t need perfection…they need authenticity.

You don’t need perfection.  You need excellence.



Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Cultural Commentary, Life, Ministry


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2 responses to “Perfectionists Not Allowed

  1. Dania Zarate

    March 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Hi pastor Jeff,
    I just read this blog and it’s talking to me at the right time. I have stopped doing things, and even having an inert life for very long periods of time. But thanks God that now he is showing me a better way, I am now little by little realizing that I have to get away from that attitude. I have suffered a lot trying to be perfectionist, it has always been “all or nothing”.
    Thank you for writing on this topic.

  2. Meliza

    March 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Great Job Pastor! This is by far my favorite blog you’ve written! “Music doesn’t need perfection…” WOW!!! A call to excellence, and stop dreaming…okay got it!


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