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Shot Of The Day

Perfect is the Enemy of Finished

Perfectionism is a curse. Some may try to spin it differently. And I can understand why. Spinning it is far easier than facing it. It’s a curse that is not quickly cured, deadened or deterred. It hangs on and lingers and haunts those who are afflicted with it. Its poison is deadly. And finishing anything becomes more and more challenging the longer the disease lives. Efforts to shed it are met with great disappointment, frustration, even depression at times. But it was this phrase that started to kill the disease of perfectionism for me — “Perfect is the enemy of finished.” I don’t know who said it, like many pieces of wisdom in my life, but OH boy is it true. Last week in Atlanta, working construction on a mission site, an old log was sitting in the way of a new fence. One person said “throw it out.” Another said “move it to the side.” Still another said, “let’s make a cross out of it.” I confess, I groaned to myself because it would only slow down our progress. To really do it right, manpower would be diverted, tools would be needed, time would be taken from the main thing. But what was the main thing? The main thing was to serve others like Christ did so that we could become more like Him. The main thing was to learn to be better masters by being better servants. The main thing WAS the cross. Perfect is the enemy of finished because perfection is a process. It is a life-long process of pressing into something, doing the very best we can with God’s help, grasping the part that made us more like HIM, learning from the part where we have room to grow and getting up and doing it all over again. When perfection keeps you from finishing, ask yourself this. Is your perfection keeping you from growing? Finish. You will find more perfection in risking a failure through finishing than you ever learned standing on the sidelines waiting for perfection to show up! Now, if I could just practice my own preaching…

Posted: 25 June 2008