Perfectionism

Hello,
I’ve been struggling with perfectionism recently and wondering if anyone has any advice? Clearly I’m fighting a losing battle here because only Christ is perfect and if I’m looking for perfection in anything else I’ll never be satisfied… I know I shouldn’t care so much about trying to make everything perfect but well, easier said than done when you’re so used to trying to be perfect.

Has anyone struggled with anything similar? I’m just trying to be grateful for everything, focus on the blessings the Lord has given me instead of what’s wrong, and find freedom in Christ’s love. But again, it’s so tempting to fall into this way of thinking so I’m wondering if anyone has dealt with something similar or has any advice?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I really struggle with this too. I am human, I will sin but I try so hard to do everything that is right and when I fail (which happens often) it hurts and I take it rough. I know I am not perfect and never will be, but to make a mistake and offend God completely tears me up in side. I’m talking with my Priest about this because I am also working through being scrupulous but also the fact that I want to do everything right and be a Saint so to speak. I don’t want to sin, but it happens. If you can find a solution please share, sorry I have no real advice. I try to focus not so much on my sins but on the graces that I am unworthily given but that is easy to do until you make a mistake. I pray often, my intentions are good but I focus so much on what I do wrong that the anxiety is taking over me. It was so much easier when I didn’t care about doing wrong or offending God but I do now and there is no going back. The only thing I can say is to keep praying and focusing on the God’s love and mercy. I know I probably sound crazy here:o
ETA- I am pretty OCD about everything but with my Faith it is taken to a whole other level.

Well - anyone who knows me knows that I have not struggled with this…perhaps to my own disgrace…:blush:

In Truth we ARE called to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt 5:48)…BUT…looking at the context of this call to perfection we see that it is perfection in Agape love.

The thing about “perfectionism” is that in most cases it is not really related to this call to be perfect in Love. Most often perfectionism gets related to a more legalistic approach of trying to do everything just right to some specific code.
What happens then is a person finds themselves trapped in the same problem that Paul addresses when he speaks of people trying to keep “the Law”…and that no one can “keep the law” perfectly.

So - you are quite correct in fighting this urge to perfectionism by concentrating on what is good, on what is blessing, on what is of God and pointed toward God.

Of course - we will likely fail to always act lovingly. The journey towards God - towards perfection in Love is not without it’s set-backs.
But our ability to recognize when we have not acted lovingly is - in itself - a blessing. Such recognition and the subsequent sorrow and repentance means that we are making progress.

So my suggestion to you is simply this. Keep focused on Jesus. Keep focused on what is Loving and keep trying to do that. If you do this, then everything else will begin to fall into place…and your peace in Christ will be much more complete.

Peace
JAmes

Jesus commands us [Matt 5:48], “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

So, the personal and continual struggle for perfection in the Lord is good, noble and worthy, and even required of us. I don’t know what you have a problem with.

I’ve come to believe that perfectionism is related to Adam’s sin of wanting to be God, but apart from Him. Man does have a perfection proper to his nature, which is only fully attainable as he’s in communion with God, and which includes the understanding that only God is perfect in the ultimate sense, accepting our imperfection relative to His perfection, resting in knowing that our perfection is necessarily related to His. Perfectionism is not of God, bot of human pride.

The quote from Jesus is in the context of love.

The Matthew 5:43 - 48 is about love of one’s enemies. God loves us, even when were were against him. So too, we must love those who are against us.

Jim

Yes - And since love - that is, agape - is the root and core of the law and prophets - It is indeed a deep and profound love that we are called to…

Peace
James

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