“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” Michael J. Fox
I love the new year. I love reflecting on the past and dreaming of the future. As I’ve spent considerable time doing this the last few days, I’ve been mulling on two words that keep coming to the forefront: Excellence and Perfection. God has been gradually drawing me away from the latter and towards the former over this last (amazing) year, and I know God has called me to pursue excellence, not perfection. Excellence in my walk with Him, in my work, in my eating habits, in my exercise, in my writing, in my friendships, in my worship… in every aspect of my life.
Perfection: The state or quality of becoming perfect.
Excellence: To do well, to go beyond in quality or ability.
Do you see the difference? Perfection belongs to God only. Excellence, in the eyes of God, is attainable.
Perfection says I’m not good enough.
Excellence says “Well done” (Matt. 25:21)
Perfection fears failure.
Excellence embraces opportunities for growth.
Perfection is pressure and stress, demanding and angry.
Excellence is confidence, in joy and peace.
Perfection turns victory to failure. (Has one bad food choice ruined your good day/week/year?)
Excellence turns failure into victory. (Now I know what not to do to fall into the trap again!)
Perfection says “God, I’ve got this under control.”
Excellence says “God, I am completely yours.”
Perfection says I have to run more miles this week or I am a horrible human being.
Excellence says I want to run well, with God’s strength.
Perfection says rest is for the lazy.
Excellence says rest is holy (Genesis 2:3).
Perfection leads to insecurity.
Excellence leads to greatness. (“A human being in the hands of God is an amazing tool for greatness.” -Erwin McManus)
I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to pursue excellence. Pursue the heart of your loving Father. Pursue that gentle voice saying, “Well done, my daughter.”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about (dwell on and pursue) these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Choosing Freedom (Michelle Watson, PhD, LPC)