Friday, October 14, 2011

Practically IMPerfect in Every Way

SO...this MAY be considered cheating. 

I am forbidden from editing my previous post because I committed to not doing so and, of course, I must scrupulously keep that committment...by publishing a new post with all the important stuff I left out of the last one!

But I really did neglect a couple of really significant factors in this whole perfectionism thing!

First of all, we easily identify and assign negative motivations, such as pride and insecurity, to our perfectionistic tendencies...and they certainly can be and often are driven by sinful motivations.  BUT...we should also remember that to some extent, this pursuit is driven by a desire to obtain that for which we were created: beauty, order, dominion, service, the glorious image of God in Christ.  That pursuit is noble and worthy and should not be abandoned.   At the same time, though, we have to accept our own and other's limitations, recognizing that we will remain in a state of dissatisfied longing until the final consummation of our redemption. 

We must come face-to-face with the limitations of living in a fallen world as finite, frail and flawed creatures.  "We are indeed a strange, wonderful, and terrible mixture of dignity and depravity, beauty and brokenness, glory and grief.  Imagine a beautiful old palace or castle, built many centuries ago.  You wander around the crumbling ruin...you have a sense of its previous glory and the tragedy of its destruction.  You can also imagine what it would be like if it were to be completely restored.  Accepting that we are glorious ruins, with great dignity and profound depravity, is part of the tension of living in a fallen world.  This ambiguity is hard for perfectionists to accept.  For them, the dignity and depravity are not woven together, but are in two separate compartments...they find it hard to live in the tension of both at the same time."  (Perfecting Ourselves to Death)

Accepting the truth of our mortality as well as our legitimate desire for glory, is crucial and allows us to submit to the tension, trusting God to complete the work he has begun in us and to bring us to maturity.

That's about all I have to say about that.  So there.

5 comments:

Randy S. said...

Lori, WELL SAID! (As usual...)

Anonymous said...

Very timely and helpful for me. Thank you for posting.

~Susan

Alicia Donathan said...

Nice. It's also interesting to note that in all likelihood we will still have a longing for beauty and order even in the glorified state. There will not be sin, of course, and so that particular kind of imperfection will not exist. But even mature people still have things to learn and perfect. I think there will be a kind of growth in the New Earth that does not involve purging sin, a moving from "glory to glory," which will be driven by a longing for more beauty, more order. We will still learn new things, and learn by trial and error sometimes.

In short, I don't believe spelling mistakes are a result of the Fall. We will still make them when sin is gone. But we'll be mature enough to handle them well.

Lori Shaffer said...

I agree with you, Alicia. Mistakes are creaturely and we will continue to be creatures in the New World...learning, maturing, and increasing in glory. Absolutely.

Lori Shaffer said...

Susan, glad it was helpful.