Excellence vs. Perfection

This morning I had discussion with my pastor (Michael Durham) about the differences between excellence and perfection. Afterward, I wrote down what I could remember of what he said, and now I want to share it with you.

  • Perfectionists aren’t always perfectionists in every area of their life. They can actually be lazy in some areas because, if they don’t think they can do that one thing (he gave the example of cleaning their room or office) perfectly, they won’t even try so they don’t have to face failure.
  • They spend an inordinate amount of time on a few select things or tasks trying to do them perfectly. Their other tasks and obligations suffer as a result, because either A. They do enough to get them done because they ran out of time, or, B. they don’t do them at all.
  • Perfectionists often live under tremendous self-imposed pressures in trying to reach perfection.
  • That pressure and those self-imposed expectations often result in being critical of others.
  • People need to learn the balance between excellence and perfection. If you did excellent, well, satisfactory, in every area rather than spent all that time striving to make one thing perfect, you’d be more productive, less stressed, and less critical.
What I learned:
  • Perfectionism hinders productivity.
  • I don’t want to do anything unless I’m sure to succeed. I don’t want to face failure in anything.
  • Sports/shooting made me like that to an extent, at the least it shaped me and my thinking. Perfection is attainable in shooting, you can shoot a perfect score. I was always happy with how I did (for the most part) but never satisfied because the score may have been perfect but the performance wasn’t. There was always room for improvement.
  • Life isn’t a shooting match.
  • I put a ton of pressure on myself to be perfect, creating stress and miserable effects.
  • I place very high standards of expectation upon myself which transcends onto expecting the same of other people which results in being critical of them asking myself why they don’t have those same expectations.
  • It’s all pride.

It was really convicting and showed me a lot of myself, my sin, and my desperate need for God. 
Let’s hear it for God’s grace.
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3 thoughts on “Excellence vs. Perfection

  1. […] I read that my mind flashed back to a conversation I had with my pastor a couple summers ago about excellence vs. perfection, where he told […]

  2. […] I read that my mind flashed back to a conversation I had with my pastor a couple summers ago about excellence vs. perfection, where he told […]

  3. […] I read that my mind flashed back to a conversation I had with my pastor a couple summers ago about excellence vs. perfection, where he told […]

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