On Perfection

I was standing at Dairy Queen with my wife and kids and we were with another family that had three kids.  I was surrounded by love and friends and kids and sunshine, and I was checked out.  Actually, I was checked in, but not to the people I was with.  I was checked in to what I felt like was a lack of accomplishments.  I felt inadequate and fake.  

To soothe my mind, since the ‘drug’ of distraction wasn’t working, I decided to do what any good dad, husband, and friend would do: I took my iPhone out of my pocket and I checked my email.  I was that guy!  As I opened my Mail app, I noticed a congratulatory email from our merchant processor.  It said, “Congratulations!  You’re practice ranks in the top 25 in the nation for collections!”  This is incredible news!  

The problem was, it didn’t change how I felt.  My immediate reaction was to reply and ask what place we ranked. A few hours later, our merchant processor replied that we ranked 13th in the nation based on money collected.  I was in my sixth year in practice and had served enough people to collect more money than all but 12  chiropractic offices in the country!  And it still wasn’t good enough!  The sad thing is, instead of being satisfied or content or healthily proud or grateful, I asked myself, What do I have to do to be number one?.  Sad, but true.  

In his book Scary Close, Donald Miller said, “…those of us who are never satisfied with our accomplishments secretly believe nobody will love us unless we’re perfect. We don’t think of our flaws as the glue that binds us to the people we love, but they are. Grace only sticks to our imperfections. Those who can’t accept their imperfections can’t accept grace either.”

Fortunately, this experience happened about seven years ago at the time I wrote this post and I’m learning to practice more gratitude.  By the Grace of God, He’s helped me outgrow some of those unhealthy mindsets.  I hope you’ll join me in loving and approving yourself just the way you are.  God does, and my prayer is that you and I can see ourselves through His eyes, not our own eyes of inadequacy and falling short.  We’re good enough in His eyes!