“I want my wedding day to be perfect.”
“Get this mess cleaned up! Our guests will be here in an hour and this place has to be perfect.”
“I stayed up all night to work on my paper – it has to be perfect if I’m going to get an “A” in this class.” (That would be me.)
Or maybe this one sounds most familiar to you: “Why did I do that/say that/think that? I’m a Christian – I’m supposed to be perfect!” After all, Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). But while the Bible uses the word “perfect” just forty-two times, the word “good” appears more than six hundred times. Like in the creation account when, after completing each day’s creative work, God examined what He had done and “saw that it was good.” In the original Hebrew, this means that God found His work “pleasing, favorable, and satisfactory.” Think about it – if God, at the zenith of His creative work, was content with “good” shouldn’t “good” be good enough for us?
There’s more: He promised a good land to the Israelites when they escaped Egyptian bondage (Exodus 3:8), Jeremiah told the people to “ask where the good way is and walk in it” (6:16). Jesus said the Father gives “good gifts” (Matthew 7:11), He proclaimed the soil with the greatest harvest good (Luke 8:8) and Paul tells us to “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21) – not perfection. Even the Gospel that saves us is called “the Good News” (Acts 5:42). Why then, are we trying so hard to be perfect?
God didn’t saddle us with this obsession for perfection – it was the enemy who planted that impossible seed. But we have watered and nurtured it until it has become a weed of gigantic proportions and, as weeds so often do, it has choked the life out of us and the “good works” we were created to do (Ephesians 2:10). It’s the devil’s way of keeping you distracted, dissatisfied, frustrated – and fruitless.
Only God is perfect and making you perfect is His work alone, through the blood of Jesus and the power of the Spirit. But you won’t see the perfectly finished product until you stand before Him in heaven. So hang all your perfectionist tendencies on Him and be free from that burden you were never meant to carry. Beloved, being good is good enough.