Why You Need To Break Up With Perfect

Amy Carroll 170 x 170This is a guest post by Amy Carroll. Amy is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ speaker team, the author of Breaking Up with Perfect, and the director of Next Step Speaker Services. Amy has been my mentor and coach and helped me answer God’s call to begin Making It Real Ministries. I adore her and think you will too! She lives in NC with her 3 favorite guys and a little, red dachshund. Visit Amy at her blog to join her in a journey toward more joy.

As I rummaged through the damaged store, I hurried toward a colorful decoration that caught my eye. A hurricane had ravaged the seaside store’s merchandise, but there were a few treasures left.

My prize that day was a papier-mâché figure of Santa Clause directing a band of animal musicians. Since my husband was a band director, seeing Jolly Old Saint Nick with his conductor’s baton poised made my heart sing even though it was a balmy North Carolina summer outside.

I carefully carried the figurines to the cash register and made them mine.

Nearly skipping with joy down the sidewalk, suddenly I tripped and dropped my fragile treasures. My face fell with dismay as I peeked inside the bag only to see pieces of Santa and his friends lying jagged and free-floating at the bottom.

When I got home, I gently removed the pieces and lay them out on a table. One by one, I drew a thin line of glue on the narrow edges and began to put them back together.

Click on the image above to read reviews, get more info, and get started breaking up with perfect today!

The results weren’t altogether terrible.

Santa’s pedestal is webbed with cracks and the beaver is missing a leg, but unless guests get too close, they’ll never know the trauma Kris Kringle endured. He’s broken but still beautiful, and a smile stretches across my face each Christmas as I unpack him from his protective box.

Why do I struggle to believe that others could see me the same way?

All of us have a level of brokenness from our own sin nature or from sin leveled against us. We all have cracks of insecurity, shards of sin, and flaws of failure, but for most of my life I’ve wanted to hide mine. I’ve wanted to glaze over my brokenness with a façade of perfection.

If I had found only a perfect Santa acceptable, I would have either tossed him after his fall, or I would have hidden him away in the box with the other outdated, worn-out ornaments.

That’s ok with an object, but we’d never do that to an imperfect person. We’re all in the same boat! So why are we afraid others will do it to us? That maybe God will too?

So we keep others at arm’s length, never allowing anyone to get too close, or we hide behind our walls of shame or false perfection. We try to earn acceptance and love with our just-right words and our thought-out actions, feeling more and more lonely all the time, when in truth…

Authenticity is the antidote for isolation.

Jesus doesn’t despise us in our brokenness, tossing us away or hiding the fact that He loves us. He gently takes our pieces and glues them back together with His grace, compassion, and forgiveness. If we’ll only lay down our masks of perfection and surrender to His perfecting work, Jesus lovingly sets us out for the world to see and claims us as His own.

I’ve been on a journey to break up with perfect, and I’m finding that my relationships with others are deeper than ever when I’m real about my flaws. In the process, I’m able to point to Jesus as the Perfect One, our ultimate hero, and I’m resting in the lavish love I’m finding in Him.

BreakingUpWithPerfectCoverAmy Carroll has written Breaking Up with Perfect for women who want to move past the pursuit of perfection into greater joy and deeper relationships. To get your copy, click here.

How about you? If you struggle with perfectionism, how does that impact your life and relationships? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

I hope you'll jump into the conversation by leaving a comment. I would love for each post to be like a dinner party conversation in which many people participate, each adding their own perspectives and ideas. Just keep in mind that we want to treat others as we would like to be treated, so please keep your comments constructive and on topic. Feel free to post viewpoints and ideas that differ from mine or others but refrain from personal attacks or offensive language. I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or which demean or belittle another member of the Making It Real community.

  • Amy, I’m so excited to have you guest posting! I am LOVING your book and getting so much help from it. I am some weird combo of the two types of people with perfection issues: the “Never Good Enough Girl” and the “Good Girl.”
    Love how you show that having a skewed idea of perfection doesn’t just impact the Type A, neat freak. You really helped me have a “Come to Jesus” mindset shift in a really good way!

  • Abbie Schomburg Wylie

    We have used the No More Perfect Moms book in small groups with both friends and modified for a group of teen ladies. Seeking God’s grace instead of our perfection helps us to draw closer to God and those he places in our lives. Thank you for sharing the new book and a reminder we can always use.
    Abbie Wylie

    • Love your comment!. Mothering is one of those areas in which many of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves, there can be lots of unhealthy comparing and competition. So glad you and your friends are seeking to parent and relate with each other with the grace to be imperfect and in progress! Not only will you and your friends be better off for it but so will your kiddos!

  • Pingback: Getting the Upper Hand Over Anxiety | Laura Naiser()

  • Pingback: Do These Factors Prevent You From Believing Who God Says You Are? | Laura Naiser()