What would you do if you knew you could not fail? This is a very interesting question, to which I've heard a lot of people give a variety of answers. "Sky dive." "Become a singer." "Solve the problem of world peace." "Get married." These are some of the most intriguing answers I've heard.
Think about it for yourself. Most of us don't go for the big dreams in our lives because we don't believe in ourselves and our ability to accomplish those things, so we settle for something smaller, but safer.
There was a time in my life when I admired the idea of perfectionism. I tried to be "a perfectionist," and I really thought that it was a good thing to do. It was admirable. Why wouldn't everyone want to try to be perfect? Haha. Then I learned.
I remember when I was applying for my first jobs at King Soopers, Elitch's, Build-A-Bear Workshop, saying with seriousness in my interviews that my perfectionism was a strength. I know that some people use that as their weakness to look better (like, my weakness is that I'm a perfectionist, which is a really insincere way of answering the question because it's really just a way to show of a perceived "strength"). But seriously, it IS a weakness, and it's a very dangerous one.
How could perfectionism be bad? How could it even be sinful? After all, aren't we told in scripture to "be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). If the Bible tells us to do something, could that thing ever be a sin?
I haven't met any people who are actually perfect. I have, however, met many people who are perfectionists. Obviously, there is a difference between the two things.
Perfectionism stops us from doing things. It's about the pride of being able to say that "I did it perfectly." It is a voice that says, "if you can't do it perfectly, don't do it at all." It's what stops us from trying out for the play, asking that girl out, or praying. Yep. People are so afraid that if they don't pray perfectly, it's not worth it at all.
Jesus doesn't want us to be so wrapped up with doing things perfectly that we are too afraid to ever do anything at all. In fact, He wants us to be brave. To know that, while we might not achieve perfection, we did something worthwhile. We trusted Him, and He took care of us. If we are doing what God asks from us, whether it's world-changing work, or working to change the world of a friend, we may not do it perfectly, but we can trust that God will fill in the gaps. Because He IS perfect. And He IS good.
GK Chesterton says, "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly." If God is calling you to it, if it's a good thing to do, it's worth doing, even if you can't do it perfectly. Even if you can't do it well. God wants your obedience, not your perfection.
Live your faith. Pray. Read the Bible. Preach the Gospel. Do your schoolwork. Try out for the team. Ask the girl out. If it's what God wants, it doesn't have to be perfect. Be brave, even if you aren't perfectly brave.