Perfectionism & Spiritual Choking
Perfectionism is a dangerous mindset because it focuses on being a success or a failure rather than on growing. Anytime something doesn't go perfectly, it causes great anxiety for people who are perfectionists. Sometimes it even stops this group of people from ever starting anything because they know they can't get it as perfect as they want it to be. 

Mistakes cause anxiety and frustration in such a way that perfectionists feel completely defeated.  Often, they just give up all together. 

Those who are in this straight-jacket of perfectionism deal with self-doubt and personal shaming on a replay tape in their brains, constantly.  

What about spiritual perfectionism? 

Do you know those people that expect perfectionism of themselves? When the inevitable happens and they mess up, it is crippling for them. They often end up giving up on serving God because they cannot do it perfectly. 

I've studied the people who fall away from a deeply perfectionist viewpoint.  

I've studied the resilient crowd, as well. 

The difference is mindset.  Healthy striving toward a more Christ-like life means understanding growth after becoming a Christian.  Holiness of heart is expected of God as a Christian, not as a payment for Heaven.  Do we earn our way to heaven? My goodness, why would Jesus have to die if we could accomplish such a goal on our own? We are running a race and we are called to have a holy heart and mind.  But our righteousness is as filthy rags.  If we can understand this shift, we can experience resilience and fall forward.  When we mess up and experience a broken heart from our sin, we should be drawn closer to God, not further away.  

Let's look at what the Bible says. "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I follow after, if that I MAY apprehend... 

Brethren, I count NOT myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I PRESS toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!" Philippians 3:12-14


We are going to make mistakes.  We are going to mess up.  We are going to have troubles and frustrations.  The Bible calls these thorns, trying to choke us out as we grow.  DON'T let the thorns choke you out! Keep going! Grow THROUGH the difficulties! Seek nourishment and correction (pruning) from God Almighty! Ask God to guide you as you desire to be more Christ-like! You need an honest and good heart (the good ground described in Luke 8:11-15).  

Seeking "perfectionism" in a growth mindset is completely different from the straight-jacket of perfectionism focused on success or failure.  It isn't earning Heaven.  It is growing in grace and knowledge.  Let's pray for an open and honest heart, remembering that Christ paid the debt for us.  We are simply running a race, growing stronger with each step! Let's go forward! 


Leave a Comment