How does perfectionism prevent someone from growing close to God?


Do you seek perfection in yourself or look for it in others? Perhaps scruples would be more appropriate a description of the term of perfectionism in the religious sense… True perfection in ourselves is not attainable as we are human and not God. We strive for “perfection” as it will make us better to serve and love God-so no-the seeking of a more HOLY life or a more “perfect” existence should enhance our closeness with God. I don’t think I have answered your question well, but it is the best I know how.

I have never met a perfect person, but have met a lot that think they are! :smiley: Peace.

Matthew 5:48, Jesus tells his disciples “Therefore be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” I’m sure Jesus would want to help us grow closer to God, not the opposite. What prompts your question?

When you start to try and achieve perfection, who gets the glory, God or you? When you achieve some level of perfection, who will get the glory, God or you, because *you *accomplished it. I believe it takes away from glorifying God to patting yourself on the back. Not to mention, you are trying to achieve something that is impossible in this life.

Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought (Romans 12:3)

Pray the Rosary … all four sets of mysteries daily.

Daily Mass and Holy Communion.

Find a church that has Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.

“Dear Lord, I love you very much. Please hold me in your arms, forgive me my sins, and make me the way you want me to be.”

I think it would help if you would give us some examples.

Are you talking perfection in your spiritual life or perfection in you own life?

An own life example would be if your perfectionism is that you are a clean freak, not that there is anything wrong with that. However, if you spend 90% of your day making sure every speck of dust has been lifted from the house, this can be a distraction. Not only from time with God but it also might be taking time away from your family or your neighbor. So in this example cleaning perfectionism could stop your growth.

A spiritual example from my own life.

Sometimes I can get consumed with posting on this forum and other chat rooms or you tube videos. At one end of the spectrum I need to read the Bible and read other articles to make sure I don’t post incorrectly. Some posts make me think deeper and enlighten me in my understanding of God. Some times I learn something new that I would have never picked up if I was not being challenged. However, even though I do these things to achieve “perfection” in my Catholic faith and grow closer to God, they can become inwardly consuming. Sometimes I have to tell myself, “BACK AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD” :smiley:

God Bless

Believing that others will value you only if you are perfect is associated with depression and other problems including suicide. It is termed, socially prescribed perfectionism. Not to be mistaken with high standards. The desire to excel is not identical to the desire to be perfect.

Yes many perfectionists are ultimately suffering because in essence for the most part nothing can ever be perfect so you are always below your standard.

I definitely struggle with this.

This verse requires perfectionism. Therefore perfectionism does not prevent someone from growing close to God.

Hmm…perhaps leads to legalism.

Any virtue taken too far can become a vice. Just ask someone struggling with OCD. But Jesus told us to be perfect. I don’t think he actually expected that we would be, knowing our human nature and him being God and all. But he does expect us to try.

I doubt Jesus would say something he expected us not to follow. I’d like a list of all commands he said were optional. I think that perfection one is not on the list.

Purgatory is where one goes if they’re in a state of grace but imperfect. No imperfect person gets into heaven. Everyone in heaven is perfect.

Even if not a so called perfectionist, we pray for healing from God with the Jesus Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ son of God have mercy on me a sinner.


It all depends on where a person’s heart is. The proper approach to seeking perfection is not to glorify oneself as having made great achievements. Instead, we need to recognize that all of our good actions glorify God, so striving for perfection and making progress in it, glorifies God even more. Then whatever compliments we get should be redirected towards God. When someone thanks you? Remind them that God deserves as much or even more credit.

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