Perfection or Excellence?

“To all perfection I see a limit.” Psalm 119:96 NIV

“Ultimately, your destiny is to be perfect before God. Until then, you are called to excellence.”

My thoughts today ask this question, “perfection or excellence?”

Having high expectations of yourself is usually a good thing, even it is stretches you a bit more than is comfortable. You do, however, have to be careful of imposing those same expectations on others and then judging their failure to do or be what you expected. Also, be careful of the temptation to rigidly hold high expectations of others, while making considerable accommodation for yourself. Realize that you are not capable of perfection any more than others are. Perfection is unrealistic for an imperfect person, and do you know anyone that is not imperfect?

Sometimes your best efforts will not be enough. Sometimes your best intentions are not realized. You are imperfect; get used to it! Feeling the need to be perfect at any time is a burden too great to bear; being so all the time is the height of impossibility. Now I confess to my need of perfecting things as much as I can – that I think is appropriate; holding the illusion of actually achieving perfection – that I think is ridiculous. I need to forgive myself when I have given my best (even if not good enough) and be generous with others when their efforts are less than I hope for, being reminded of how many have been gracious to me and how that was needed when my accomplishment was less than my well intended attempt.

Here is a Godly objective. “Till we all come . . to the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13 NKJV. Jesus alone is perfection and you and I have a ways to go, but are invited to walk with Him on the journey. “We know that when He appears, we shall be like Him . . “ See 1 John 3:2 NIV. Now, that has to be good news!

Let me attempt to make a very important distinction. Ultimately, your destiny is to be perfect before God. Until then, you are called to excellence. Perfection and excellence are not the same and should not be confused, as they often are. Perfection is just that, no matter with whom you are compared. Excellence is simply being the best that you are able to be at that moment in that situation, without comparison with anyone else. Strive always for a growing excellence.

Excellence is possible for you; perfection is not. “As you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” 2 Corinthians 8:7 NIV. The church at Corinth was far from perfect, but they could be honestly commended for things in which they excelled. Give others an occasion to praise you for excelling, rather than admire you for perfection. “Let it be for the edification of the church (others) that you seek to excel.” 1 Corinthians 14:12 NKJV.

Never permit yourself to give God or others anything less than the best of which you are capable. Do your best; give your best; be your best – as unto the Lord and for the edification of others – in your marriage and family, at work, in relationships, and in your personal and spiritual life. “Do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do.” See Ephesians 6:6-8 NLT.

My prayer for you today is that you be your best at all times, as unto the Lord.