measure, and cut perfectionism

A skilled carpenter measures twice, conserving valuable materials and time, before he cuts once. The amateur, on the other hand, measures once and cuts, increasing the possibility for error. The experienced craftsman makes mistakes too, but measuring the second time increases his accuracy.

I am a person who likes to measure. An accurate ruler, a tape measure and a bubble level are tools in my measuring arsenal. Being a perfectionist, I tend to measure and re-measure every angle of a project. Then, after careful preparation, I cut and fit the materials like a well-designed kit.

Yet, the same perfectionism that strives for excellence frequently leads me to procrastinate, hesitate or stall. It’s not that I’m incapable or incompetent, but I can be paralyzed by my imperfection. I want to be the best and produce what’s best.

In my case perfectionism can hinder me from attempting what I am entirely capable of. Blogging, for example, is something that I have avoided for several years. Why? The specific reasons are unimportant because they reveal my selfish, idolatrous heart.

Perfectionism demonstrates my sinful desire for control, my craving for approval, my fear of failure or my comfort with the status quo. Harsh assessments yes, but there’s hope for perfectionists. It’s not up to me and my accomplishments. God asks for faithful, not perfect, service. He, the Master Carpenter, assigns the projects and he gives me the tools to measure and cut the materials.

Lord willing, 2011 will be a fruitful year as God measures, and cuts more perfectionism out of my heart.


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