Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Perfectionism is the enemy of grace

In chapter 5 of Reggie McNeal's book Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders, he writes this on p. 120:
Perfectionism is the enemy of grace. Even those of us who preach grace sometimes fail to afford it to ourselves. It doesn't help to say that you don't expect of others any more than you expect of yourself if you are expecting too much from yourself. There is an insidious idolatry at the heart of perfectionism: a belief that we can be without fault, a belief that we can BE God. This should not be construed as an argument for sloppiness or laziness. However, we simply have to come to grips with the fact that we are human, and human beings sometimes lack judgment and make the wrong call. Some spiritual leaders say this, but deep down they put themselves on a pedestal. It hurts to fall from up there. And you will fall.