God has shown me three fallacies to human perfectionism:
- It is striving. There is a rule in economics called the Law of Diminishing Returns. It means there is a point when you try to improve something that the improvement costs more than the remaining problem, itself, does. It is like if you had a problem that costs you 30 cents per day. You could fix that problem, but it will cost $1.00 per day. You are better off leaving things the way they are. (That reality is like nails on a chalkboard to a young Aspie.)
- Our natural minds have no concept, at all, of God's take on "perfect" other than a vague notion of "the likeness of Christ," whatever that means. We don't know how to get there from here, because we don't even know where "there" is...! If we only pursue our own idea of perfection, we end up advancing our own agendas and it becomes, in effect, the idol of Narcissism (a me-centered form of Humanism). Even if we base that agenda on the Bible, we are deciding what gets changed and when. This leads to the next point...
- Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the Author and Perfecter of our faith. His methods aren't always clear to us. In my experience, it is like when a Rubik's cube is almost completed. There is no way to solve the last face without messing up what you have already accomplished, but in a calculated way. We can learn to do that with a toy puzzle, but I believe that God does that in a much higher order (see Isaiah 55:9). Also, when we make mistakes, either honest or foolish, and run back to Him, He will use even those to "perfect" our faith, often by imparting more wisdom and/or grace.
As Aspies, we tend to focus on details and spend so much energy on fixing them that we would drop the ball on other important areas of our lives that deserve as much or more attention. We don't recognize that bigger failure until we step back and look at the big picture. Sometimes God will have us put off working on a particular problem and come back to it later, or resolve it in an unexpected way.
So, instead of perfection, I strive for excellence. That is, I seek to make the best choices I can in any situation that presents itself. And I don't fear failure; I know for a fact that I will fail (given our fallen state). But I have learned to even fail excellently by running back to Jesus and seeing what I can learn/take away from it.
So, where is all of this in the Bible?
“He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 ☝
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