Quote of the Day: In pursuit of perfection

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For much of my life I floundered under the excuse of “nobody’s perfect,” the liberating and over-used phrase that affords guys like me the freedom to pile up sins in a careless and unchecked way. Ironically, being perfect is precisely what we are called to be! “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect,” instructs Jesus. Though setbacks are to be expected, they are not to be accepted. – Tarek Saab, Gut Check

I recently finished Tarek’s book, Gut Check. Excellent book. I plan to write a review on it soon.

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Pete April 23, 2009 at 6:54 pm

I know what you are getting at here Matthew. That we don’t get complacent with Sin. Its an important point.

But there is a flipside. There is a state of anxiety for many, that can be paraylizing and very painful. We call it ‘perfectionism’. For many, the pursuit of not making mistakes, bad judgments etc can be a torture.

Its tricky. We should not be complacent with sin, but if we become harsh taskmasters for ourselves we can quickly turn life into a painful experience.

Ive seen people walk away from their faith because they felt “they couldn’t live up to it”.

Id be interested to hear other’s opinion on this. Its an important subject.

Alison April 23, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Based on the excerpts you’ve quoted, the book sounds like a MUST read! It’s on my list. Look forward to your review!

Heather April 23, 2009 at 8:39 pm

With a subtitle of “Confronting Love, Work, & Manhood,” would you recommend it to anyone, regardless of whether they are men or not? Because from what you have said about this book, I would like to read it, but it didn’t know if it was “just for the boys” or not.

Matthew Warner April 23, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Pete – thanks for the thoughts. I think that’s why he ends it saying that such “falls” are to be “expected.”

Of course we need a healthy sense of God’s forgiveness every time we fall short. I think the point he is making overall is simply that we can’t use “not being perfect” as a crutch.

He’s not saying to heap on the guilt, fear, or pain when we mess up. Just not to accept mediocrity in its place.

Some people have a hard time separating the two…which is the worst thing to do and serves Tarek’s point.

I agree that some people can get too scrupulous, though…which is unhealthy. But striving for perfection (what we are called to) and beating ourselves up about it when we fall short are two separate things entirely.

Matthew Warner April 23, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Heather – actually I would highly recommend it for women, also. It’s very open, blunt, and honest. So it’s a great way for a woman to try and better understand how us men work! :-)

But also – a lot of his experiences apply to all of us…regardless of gender. He’s a very good writer, too.

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