When You Feel Like You Have to be Perfect

Jesus Is perfect.


Can I share something with you? I used to think that for me to bring God glory I needed to portray perfection. I tried to say all the right things, do all the right things, and be the all right things. Not only is this a crazy way of thinking, but it’s a lie the enemy tries to tell us.

Trying to portray perfection puts the focus on ourselves instead of Jesus. Click to Tweet

The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He would love nothing more than for us to fall into the trap of perfectionism. He will try to fool us into thinking we have to look like we have it all together. He is a liar, and he will use trickery to try and take our focus off of Jesus.

All it takes is one sneaky whisper from the enemy, and we think things like Who do think are? Look at your past–they’ll never believe your good enough! You’ll never measure up. God can’t use someone like you.  It is thoughts like these that have us running around trying to portray perfection—which is precisely what the enemy wants. He knows that if he can cause us to fall into the perfectionism trap, we will take our focus off of Jesus and put it on ourselves.

When thoughts like these come, we need to pluck them right out of our minds. Refusing to let the enemies lies take root will help us overcome the need to portray perfection. 

Trying to portray perfection prevents others from seeing Christ’s power in us. Click to Tweet

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Trying to be perfect will only prevent others from seeing Christ’s power in us. Think of it this way: a perfect person wouldn’t have any weaknesses and therefore, wouldn’t have anything to boast about. But if we allow other’s to see we aren’t perfect and that we need Jesus to help us, they will realize that they need Him too. When we enable Jesus to work through our imperfections, others will be able to see His love, grace, and mercy shine through us. 

Trying to portray perfection places an unnecessary burden around our necks. Click to Tweet

If we want others to really see Jesus we need to take off the bulky yoke of perfectionism we’ve been wearing around our necks. Galatians 5: 1 Paul reminds us,It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Trying to be perfect is an exhausting way to live. In the end, we will only enslave ourselves to the overwhelming pressure of trying to attain the unattainable.

How do you take off the yoke? By accepting that Jesus is enough. When we rest in the truth that Jesus is all we need we are able to break free from the demands of perfectionism. We are no longer bogged down by the feeling that we have to say, do, and be all of the right things. The urge to hide our weaknesses is replaced with the desire to boast about everything that Jesus has done. And we are free to let the love of Christ shine bright enough for all to see.

Aren’t you glad we don’t have to be perfect?

Because Jesus is perfect I don’t have to be. Click To Tweet

Thank you for joining me for the conclusion of When The Answer Is To Fail. It’s my prayer that these words will fill you with the hope and encouragement you need to take off the yoke of perfectionism and can latch onto the freedom we have in Christ. Latching onto this freedom gives us the opportunity to grow as we Ingest Every Lesson, the confidence to Accept Our Imperfections as a gift, and the courage to boldly Follow Gods Direction.


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16 thoughts on “When You Feel Like You Have to be Perfect

  1. Marcus Ampe says:

    It is not because Jesus did manage to fulfil god His Will and was as such without sin that we should not try to be perfect. We should try to do our uttermost best to become like Jesus, who was like us a man of flesh and blood able to sin, but did not.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for writing this! I used to struggle with this as well–the desire to always appear competent and constantly feeling as though i had to say, be, and do the right things.

    I’ve recently been convicted of this and grown in this area but I see myself falling into the perfectionism trap occasionally if I’m not careful and intentional about meditating on Jesus’ perfection.

    Thank you for the reminder and for sharing 2 Corinthians 12:9. You are absolutely right that trying to be perfect will only prevent others from seeing his power in us. 🙂



    • Kelly Basham says:

      Hello Vita! I’m glad it spoke to you. I still need this reminder from time to time. I have a little sticky note on my white board that says, “I don’t have to be perfect.” It helps keep me from falling back into old routines. 🙂

  3. jenmoye says:

    What wonderful truth and great reminders that this life is not about us but about Him! Thank you for sharing

  4. helloredds says:

    What a good word, Kelly!
    Because Jesus is perfect, I don’t have to be! Love it!
    Tweeted several of your quotes and followed you on Twitter.
    Came over on Grace and Truth.
    Hope you have a blessed weekend~

  5. Long Ladies says:

    This is so encouraging to read of others breaking free of the ‘perfect picture’ life. I’ve been there. Hiding every mistake, (I was nick-named the ‘Perfect Child’ by my family and even my friends began teasing me as well) it became my identity and I felt I had to live up to this standard of perfection. I have since broken free of this lifestyle, praise the Lord! I still struggle with admitting my faults because I have a pride issue (darn thing!) and I hate being wrong, but as you said, our urge to cover up our weaknesses is replaced by boasting about what the Lord has done.

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

    • Kelly Basham says:

      Hi Haley. Praise Jesus you have broken free from having to live up to that. I know how hard it is and I also have a bit of pride issue too! God is still working on me with that one. Its nice to meet you and thanks for stopping by.

  6. Karen Del Tatto says:

    Kelly, That is so true that when we strive to be perfect, we are putting the focus on ourselves.

    I tend to be an open book and am pretty real about my personal struggles. However, as I read this post, I realize that there are some areas in me that I am still indeed striving to be perfect in; feeling like I have failed God if I don’t live up in my own mind to this perfection.

    Thank you for the reminder that it is okay not to be perfect because all of our Perfection comes from Christ Jesus.

  7. Naomi@WhatJoyIsMine says:

    Kelly…This is a fabulous post! Perfectionism really does encourage us to take our eyes off of who Jesus is in our life. He is enough, as you remind us. Thank you for the reminder. Visiting you from Intentional Tuesday link up.

  8. Carolina Cisneros says:

    This post spoke directly to my heart. I hear the lie, “Who do you think you are?” on repeat. God’s grace is sufficient and because He’s perfect, I don’t have to be. I must lean on Him. Thank you for this wonderful reminder. To God be all the Glory for what He is doing in our lives for His purpose. I’m grateful to have you linked to Cisneros Cafe for Open Mic Monday for the soul. I hope to see you again at Cisneros Cafe. <3

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