While encouraging Piper’s coloring skills last week, the word popped out without warning. I’d promised myself to keep the word Perfect! under wraps, especially with my grandchildren, but there it was in all its glory. 

It’s a seemingly innocent word but it can wreak havoc in our psyche if we’re not careful.  

From a writing standpoint, this word has left me paralyzed more times than I’d like to admit.

If the “perfect” word doesn’t come to mind, I can’t begin the poem. 
If the “perfect” word picture doesn’t happen, how can I finish the devotion? 
And on and on. 

So pages of uncompleted work scribbled between two thin blue lines remain scattered among our library, shelved by perfectionism.

Perhaps it’s for this reason I can’t get enough of Emily P. Freeman’s book, A Million Little Ways. Asterisks, underlined words and phrases, Wows!, and several exclamation marks find their way on practically every page. Yes, it’s that good.

One favorite chapter Offer includes this wisdom:

When I hoard my gifts and my gifting under piles of doubt, perfectionism, and demand for appreciation, I forget the six pots in Cana filled with dusty water, the ones holding nearly thirty gallons each. I forget how Jesus takes small offerings and turns them around to glorify his Father.

A salty splotch of water mingled slowly with underlined words as I read this paragraph for a second time. Never had I associated my perfectionism with hoarding God’s gifts. All along, I’d considered my finished piece of work as an offering to the Lord—but now I see it’s because of Christ’s finished work that I can find rest in offering my best, but far from perfect work, for His glory.

If you’re struggling to climb out from beneath piles of doubt, perfectionism, or a demand for appreciation, I would welcome the opportunity to pray for you (and ask that you pray for me, as well.) I have a feeling we’re not alone on this journey!

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6