Is Perfectionism a Sin?

“All you have to give is what you’ve been given to give.” ~Max Lucado

Years ago a trusted mentor challenged Audrey when she was ready to give up her studies. With four small children and many demands on her time, Audrey felt it might be best to put off her online courses and focus more on her family. But this mentor knew how long and hard Audrey had searched for this educational opportunity, she also knew the spiritual conviction about its importance that Audrey had expressed when she had begun mentoring.  

The problem was that not only did Audrey want to make space for all the good things that were crowding her life, she wanted to do them all with precision and excellence, every time. This seemed not only a noble goal but an achievable one, if only she could get herself together! 

What was Audrey to do when it felt like she couldn’t do it all? 

Join her this week as she challenges you with the same questions she was challenged with: Are you a perfectionist? If so, what if perfectionism is a sin? 

Listener’s Guide:

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast. 

1:32         My First Experience With Perfectionism
8:55        What Are You Giving Up For Perfection
14:03      Perfectionism Reframed

21:00     Understanding the Word ‘Perfect’
24:23     Three Keys to Mastering Perfectionism
25:10      Self-Nurturing   
30:27     Focus On Strength
35:08     Give the Rest to God
40:56     The Challenge

Quotes from this episode:

“There are important things and then there are more important things. A perfectionist says, “If I can’t do it perfectly, then I’m going to cut out things, even if they are the more important things.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

“What are you willing to sacrifice so that you can do the most important things? How can you make space so you can do the most important things?” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

“The Greek word for perfect is ‘whole’. From the Greek – téleios, tel’-i-os; complete: in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc. ~From The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

“We become perfect and complete by coming to God in a partnership. We are complete with Him.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

“Perfectionism is a sin because it pulls us away from God as we try to do everything ourselves.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

“I’m just delighted to be part of God’s work because I know that he delights in using small and simple things.” ~Corrie ten Boom

“Live your life or it won’t be lived. If you aren’t you, we don’t get you. The world misses out.” ~Max Lucado     

“Building your strengths forces you to overcome your weakness but it’s exciting and motivating, not drudgery.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

“Focusing on your strengths is self-affirming, highly motivating, draws you closer to God and the people around you, and you also overcome your weaknesses in the process.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

“You can only control you but perfectionism is about controlling everything.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

“Perfectionism will make you unhappy.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

“Let God work his magic, get out of his way.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

Advice for perfectionists from The Enneagram Made Easy

“Instead of mentally rehashing past mistakes, remember the accomplishments you are most proud of. ” ~Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele 

“Ask others to help so you don’t do more than your share.” ~Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele 

“Allow yourself to do certain things quickly, although imperfectly, so you can get on to the next task or go home on time.” ~Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele 

“In relationships: Learn to forgive yourself and others; Learn to respect others’ ways of doing things; Be aware that your tone of voice can be hard or upset people; Allow your children to come to decisions on their own so they can develop more self-esteem.” ~Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele 

“Things to say to myself: It’s ok to relax and enjoy myself; I’m ok even when I make mistakes; I am learning not to take myself so seriously; I am perfect just the way I am; I will ask for what I want and need.” ~Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

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