“The Wrestlings” Discussion {Chapter 9: Perfectionism}

We reach the chapter of my ebook The Wrestlings Along the Narrow Path where it talks about perfectionism. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with perfectionism. I don’t know how one really develops it. Maybe it’s the influence of others in one’s life while growing up. Maybe it’s in the genes. Maybe in my case it was both. Which made me helpless.

(image from Google)

I remember at a very young age, my older cousins (they were like my aunts) would give me intricate instructions and I would deliver perfectly, in a very short time. They would marvel how I had understood it all. But these older cousins would also clean the house (the ancestral house where aunts, uncles, and cousins lived together) perfectly. They swept the wooden floors clean even between the planks. They applied wax and scrubbed them (including the wooden stairs) until they shone. And they taught me everything. One mistake meant a painful pinch.

I went to our own home and cleaned it ’til it sparkled. I was in grade school. And I have been that ever since. Perfectionist in almost everything I do and did. I wanted perfection in —

my work, my career

my company

my marriage

my family

my home

Perfectionism in that, there were unwritten life rules and ingrained ideals which I lived with and which I expected others to pick up. Perfectionism that put high expectations on others and demanded perfect delivery.

Perfectionism that could bring great frustrations and disappointments upon oneself and others. Perfectionism that could deeply hurt others and ruin important relationships. Perfectionism that could put one’s physical, mental, and emotional health in danger. And it could destroy a young soul. Yes, the children in their formative years.

I practiced all these and more. I may have been a perfectionist according to the world’s standards, but the Lord showed me how flawed I was. In His kingdom, I was very much as imperfect as imperfect can be. 

I was doing it all wrong, wholeheartedly embracing a Martha spirit and not knowing that God takes much pleasure in a Mary spirit. This was all before I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ. But even as I was introduced to the “household of Martha and Mary in Bethany” and began to know the difference between the two in one episode of their life, and I soaked in the Lord’s teachings, I continued to wrestle against my tendency to do everything perfectly and demand others to do the same.

Through years of hard trials and refining, the Lord has shown me how imperfect my love was and how I needed Him so much to help me, move powerfully in my heart and change me. And liberate me from my own life rules, standards, and practices. In God’s standards, holy as He is, I err and fail over and over again. But I’m ever grateful that He is perfect to forgive me and cover all that I lack.

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (1 Cor. 1:30 NIV)

The Wrestlings Discussion Series:

The Wrestlings Discussion {Chapter 1: Eyes of Envy}
The Wrestlings Discussion {Chapter 2: Envy, Competition, and Covetousness}
The Wrestlings Discussion {Chapter 3: Heart of Covetousness}
The Wrestlings Discussion {Chapter 4: Jealousy}
The Wrestlings Along the Narrow Path {Chapter 5: Eyes on Jesus}
The Wrestlings Along the Narrow Path (Chapter 6: Lessons in Love}
The Wrestlings Along the Narrow Path {Chapter 7:
 Weeding Out Marital Woes}
The Wrestlings Along the Narrow Path {Chapter 8: The Great Gentleness Challenge}

I might be linking up with these lovely blogs.

Journey with Jesus,


  1. I also am thankful for His forgiveness — it covers all.

  2. Beth says:

    You have such a lovely blog. I’ve enjoyed finding my way here.
    “But I’m ever grateful that He is perfect to forgive me and cover all that I lack.” Me too! So grateful!
    Blessings to you, Beth

    • RinaPeru says:

      Oh, aren’t we, the redeemed, forever grateful that His love is perfect to forgive? What and where are we without our merciful Savior? Blessings to you, too, Beth!

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