Be Ye Therefore Perfect – Eventually

Reading: “What Does it Mean to be Perfect?“, Cecil O. Samuelson, New Era, January 2006

I have already shared how asking “what would Jesus do?” affected me in a positive way. You can read about that in my last post.

However, a negative side effect I found of asking all the time “what would Jesus do?” was that I kept comparing myself to someone who is perfect. I found myself thinking, “Christ would not even have that problem because he never would have done the stupid things that got him there, and I am just messed up.” This was not an uplifting way of thinking.

Thus, I thought today it would be good to read an article on perfectionism. This particular article is an old favorite of mine.

Perfectionism is not humility, and it is not of God. It is when we get so down on ourselves about what is wrong with us that we lose sight of the more positive aspects of the gospel. It is a serious problem and can have serious consequences. If you think you have this problem, I highly encourage you to review the list at the end of this article because it does a good job of showing the difference between perfectionism and humility.

One thing I often find myself doing when I start to struggle with perfectionism is that I get the idea that I have to get rid of what weaknesses I have before I can be worthy of God’s help. If we look at Ether 12:27 we can see this is not the case:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

God wants us to be perfect, but he also wants to help us get that way. If we are willing to ask for and receive God’s help with problems, that is the point he will start helping us. What a beautiful thought! God does not just leave us to work out our own problems, but rather is ready to take us by the hand and lead us back to where we need to go.

Today I am going to try to take a different approach when I encounter problems. Rather than getting down on myself, I’m going to try and say a little prayer asking for God’s help and then I’m going to find something more positive to think about or do.

I think everybody struggles with perfectionism at some point in their life. What ways have you found to help you deal with perfectionism? Do you have any insights that let you know when you have stopped being humble and started being a perfectionist?

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