temptation toward perfectionism

The Temptation Toward Perfectionism

Christa smiles as her eyes rest on the plaque on her desk, a gift from a friend. She is not yet an “older woman,” per se, but the Titus 2:3-5 woman is Christa’s role model and it shows. The delicate script on the plaque helps her make certain those verses are ever before her.

Her success is measured in the “likes” and comments that stream in on her blog; Christa’s followers use words like “inspiration” and “perfect” to describe her latest cleverly-planned date with her husband or child’s birthday party.

The ladies in her stay-at-home moms’ Bible study don’t know what they’d do without Christa; they are thankful to have such a good example before them. Her friends have risen up and called her blessed, and Christa is fulfilled and happy.

Quid pro Quo

It has never occurred to Christa that a day could come when her husband’s head turns toward another woman, or that her kids may not follow the LORD when they grow into adults. She attends a solid church, and she has a robust understanding of the gospel truth that she is a sinner and every good thing in her life is a grace from God, but in her functional theology Christa feels entitled to God’s blessings. If her husband or children stray, she will feel betrayed — not by them, but by God.

The Kindness of God

 There are times when God removes physical blessings and comforts from us in order to give us something better: Himself
(2 Corinthians 1:8-9). When trials come into your life, do you become bitter and disillusioned? Is it possible you are trusting something or someone other than the LORD, and He, in His kindness (Romans 2:4), is revealing that to you by taking it away? Will you ask Him to reveal your heart to you (Psalm 139:23-24)? Please comment below if we may serve you in your struggle; it would be our pleasure to walk with you.

Putting Him on Display

Why, then, should Christa seek to be a Titus 2 woman, if there’s no guarantee her life will turn out well? The rest of the chapter answers for us:

“…so that in everything (she) may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works”
(Titus 2:10-14).

Christa is not her own. Her Lord has redeemed her to be His possession, so that He may put His character and nature on display through her. In some sense, she sees her obedience like coins she puts in a vending machine, expecting the goods to come falling down, instead of like a crown to be laid at the feet of the One who purchased her out of slavery to sin.

Thankfully, the LORD will not leave Christa in her idolatry of perfectionism. He will perfect her (Philippians 1:6). He must, because His reputation, as well as His child’s joy and peace, are at stake. God’s glory and Christa’s good are not at odds; they are coterminous goals procured for her by the person and work of Christ (Romans 8:28).

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).

The Glory of God changes everything


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