Endless search for perfection


By Mike Colaw

A number of years ago, a lady walked into my office looking for some marriage advice.  She was in the process of ending her fourth marriage, and wanted a little counsel about how to help her child adapt to the change. It didn’t take long to discover she was on a journey to find love, and her child was a discouraged passenger. I began to pry a bit and discovered this journey had led her into different types of relationships with positive and negative qualities. Some spouses may have been better at tasks, highly reliable and made great money, others a little more relational and loved to have fun. In the conversation, as she opened up her heart, it became really clear she wanted the best of each experience all wrapped up in one man! I finally had to tell her that man doesn’t exist. There is no person who is totally reliable, great at tasks, yet free-spirited and spontaneous. Her journey to find perfection left her alone, and now there was a child.

This way of looking at life bleeds into all kinds of other areas. We quit one job because we don’t like the boss, the next job because it doesn’t pay enough and quit yet again because it just doesn’t feel right. From marriage to work, even in church selection, we play the perfection game, wanting all of our favorite attributes rolled into one package for our emotional consumption. The problem is our primary guide is our pleasure, and pleasure is an appetite never fully satisfied. We end up all alone in our passion for perfection, constantly comparing the best of everything we have with the possibility of something better. We become slaves to the quest for pleasure and bitter at anything that seems to stand in the way. The Bible puts it this way:

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another” (Titus 3:3 – English Standard Version).

What if there was another way?

Rick Warren makes a great statement.

“The people who succeed in life are the people who are willing to do what they don’t feel like doing. They are not mastered by their moods, they are mastered by the Master.” So here is something to think about. What masters you? Do me a favor. Find a Bible and read Titus 2:4-7. You will find the pursuit of Christ can bring great freedom.

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