How do I stop being a perfectionist?
Some time ago, I read a story about a farmer who approached a driver whose car was stuck in a mud hole:
“For 50 bucks, I’ll pull you out of there.” the farmer offered. The driver agreed and after the farmer had pulled him out and pocketed the money, he said, “You know, yours is the tenth car I’ve rescued today.”
“Wow,” the driver said, “when do you have time to work your land? At night?”
“No,” the farmer replied, “Night is when I fill the hole with water!”
I love that. The farmer was setting a pitfall. Literally speaking, a pitfall is a hole or pit deceitfully covered to entrap wild beasts or men; a trap of any kind. Figuratively, a pitfall can be any unforeseen or unexpected difficulty. Life is filled with pitfalls. A temptation is a pitfall. An error in judgment can be a pitfall. A bad choice can become a pitfall. Some pitfalls are dug by others, some dug by ourselves.
These pitfalls bring pain to ourselves, in the relationships we share with others, in our walk with God, who wants us to enjoy freedom he offers from being entrapped by these pitfalls.
You know the kinds of pitfalls I am talking about, because you struggle with some of them too: Pitfalls of perfectionism, demanding that everyone like you, requiring control of situations and people, indulging in a lifestyle of self-pity, processing life to a mathematical equation, feeling that nothing will ever go right, feeling helpless, blaming others, obsessing about things you should give to God and avoiding problems through irresponsibility.
Throughout my life, I have found myself falling into pitfalls over and over again. And I have learned how the Bible addresses a number of them.
In this podcast we address the first pitfall: Perfectionism.
My notes are available upon request by emailing me here: