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The Sin of Perfection
How our seeking perfection is our greatest enemy
It is hard to write sometimes. No. That is the sweetest lie there is. Writing is the easy part. Editing can be tricky, the real hard part is sharing. What if we use the wrong words or are misunderstood? What if we end up doing more harm than good?
For those of us who grew up in the fall/redemption tradition, there is another fear: what if we cause someone to lose their immortal soul? No matter how far we distance ourselves from that indoctrination, the fear remains, lurking in the corners of our mind.
Perfection is the real problem. It is not the perfectionism, but the mistaken belief that anything can be perfect or that there is such a thing as perfection in this world. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the world is dark, corrupt, evil, or broken. The world is as it is, imperfect but good.
The imperfections of this world make everything possible. A perfect atom cannot make a molecule. It has to have an imperfection that reaches out to and connects with other atoms to hold them together. That is a poetic way to see it, and I’m sure many scientists would dispute that metaphor, but the truth of it still stands.
Wisdom, even the frail and fragile wisdom we have access to, is strong enough to speak through even our weakest metaphors and to enliven those who need it.
Sometimes it is hard to remember this. It is easier and more comfortable to give in to fear and wrap ourselves in it like a warm blanket. Fear protects us from ridicule, exclusion, or the gaze of others.
It takes courage to share even the slightest whisper of wisdom with another, and even more courage to receive it.
Every time an angel appears in Scripture, they say, “Be not afraid.” The fear they wish to dispel is the fear of receiving wisdom and the greater fear that keeps us from acting on it and sharing it.
We need to reject the sin of perfection and strive to do good. Not perfect, just good enough.