Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
(Matthew 5:6 | NIV)
You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
(Matthew 5:6 | The Message)
What are you hungry for? What are you thirsty for? What sustains you? What keeps you feeling whole and satisfied?
For certain people among us, the answer is simple: perfection.
We all know those people who want everything to be done right, for everything to be as good as it could possibly be. We know those who chase perfection in all they do – how they raise their family, how they perform academically, how they clean their house, how they organize the files on their computer. There is a right way to do things, and a wrong way to do things. They have a very binary view of the world – right/wrong, black/white, good/evil, straight/crooked.
Good enough is not good enough.
We call these people “Perfectionists.” They find their home at the ONE spot on the Enneagram. Sometimes they are also called “Reformers” because they have a way of seeing what’s wrong with a system or organization and then acting to change it. This can be great for a business. It can be less great with relationships.
Ones have a tendency to “should” all over everyone and everything. You should do this. You should do that. You shouldn’t do that, ever. You should always do this. In their pursuit to make the world around them “perfect,” they are plagued by the phrase “good enough.” Think Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series.
The problem is that we live in an imperfect world. The solution is not to “should” all over everything until it becomes perfect. That’s never going to happen, and it will only lead to frustration, anger, and burnout. The solution for Ones is to love.
Jesus says at the end of Matthew 5,
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
But the context of perfection in this instance is Love – specifically love for one’s enemies. In other words, when we can simply love without agenda, without expecting anything in return, without exception people to change – then we can experience perfection as God defines it.
Ones put a lot of pressure on themselves to avoid mistakes and to do everything correctly. God is urging us to let go of those pressures and walk in love. Instead of chasing your own perfection, seek God’s righteousness (Mt. 6:33). When we seek God’s righteousness above all else, then we will be made full, complete, whole like we never could have known before.
Why do we feel the pressure to be “perfect?” Has social media use relieved those pressures or made it worse?
What’s the difference between human perfection and God’s righteousness?
How does love help combat the trap of perfectionism?