From my reading in Luke 10:25-42 in the One Year New Testament.
The Danger of Perfectionism
There is a powerful story in the Bible of two women who both wanted to please Jesus but had different approaches to relating to him. Martha and Mary were hosting Jesus at their home. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened carefully to his teaching. Martha, on the other hand, wanted to make everything perfect for big dinner for Jesus.
Martha complained to Jesus that it wasn’t fair for Mary to just sit and listen while she do all the work, and she told Jesus to tell Mary to go help her. First of all, it’s not a great idea to tell Jesus what to do, but Jesus graciously responded in a way that gives us two powerful lessons.
“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41–42
1. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
The fact that Martha was working hard to prepare a meal was a good thing. The problem Jesus had with her was that she was worried and upset over the details.
One of the reasons we get worried about the details is not because we want to serve the people but because we want everything to be perfect so that we look good.
The perfectionist gets their idently from their performance instead of from Christ.
Men and women both struggle with this desire to make everything perfect in the name of serving God. I encourage you to make sure that as you work hard for God’s glory, you don’t get so focused on minor details that you forget what life is really about – loving God and others. Jesus is our first priority, and other people are our second priority. Next time you find yourself worrying about the details ask yourself…
Am I really motivated to serve God and others or make myself look good?
2. Don’t sacrifice time with God for service of God.
Martha was doing a great service for Jesus, but was missing out on valuable time with Jesus. Those of us in ministry can get so caught up in spending time working for God, we fail to get adequate time simply enjoying his presence and listening to his voice. Jesus modeled a life of sacrificial service while maintaining healthy amounts of time in prayer to the Father. He modeled this principle…
Our relationship with God is the fuel for effective service of God.
Stop focusing on minor details and make sure that you take the time you need to slow down and connect with Jesus. Another danger of perfectionism is that it not only hurts your relationship with Christ but it also hurts your relationships with people. Don’t get so busy focusing on petty things that you forget about the people in your life. Ultimately, though, if you are focusing on your relationship with God, then a love for others will naturally flow out of that!
Slow down, take a chill pill and just sit at Jesus’ feet for a while; it is the most valuable thing you can do!
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