I'm so glad you're here. I look forward to connecting with you. Blessings! -E
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Sister, do you feel the need to have everything perfect all the time? Do you always set high standards whenever you set your mind to something? Do you sacrifice your sleep, personal time, or well-being in order to achieve the highest level of success at work?
If you strive for excellence but, unintentionally, dip your toe into the perfectionist pond, you won’t want to miss this episode.
Today, we will be doing some Bible study, including an in-depth (but not exhaustive) word study, and dig deep into the difference between excellence and perfectionism.
So, grab your Bible, a highlighter, a pen, and a notebook, and let’s dig in!
Understand where you are missing the mark and why your struggle with perfectionism causes you anxiety.
Know the difference between excellence and perfectionism from a Biblical perspective so you will not be too hard on yourself & others.
Uncover the root of your perfectionism so you can live life with contentment.
“Perfectionism bears bad fruit because, the truth of the matter is, you are always striving, yet you never actually get there.”
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02.25 – My own struggle with perfectionism, especially in my quest to ensure I show up with excellence in all I set out to do. The thing is, excellence and perfectionism are not the same things.
04.14 – Bible use of perfection.
THE BRIDE Song of Songs 5:2
“I was asleep but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking:
‘Open to me, my sister, my darling,
My dove, my perfect one!
For my head is drenched with dew,
My locks with the dewdrops of the night.’
The use of perfect here is the Hebrew word “tam” (pronounced tahm – or tom), which actually translates to “my perfect” in English and is used 14 times in 14 verses to communicate the meaning “perfect, complete.”
2 Chronicles 25: 18 – 19 “LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the intentions of the hearts of Your people, and direct their hearts to You; and give my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies, and Your statutes, and to do them all, and to build the temple for which I have made provision.”
The phrase here is actually “a perfect,” which translates to the Hebrew šālēm (pronounced shaw-lame’), which is an adjective that is used throughout the Old Testament and means “complete, safe, peaceful, perfect, whole, full, at peace. It’s used 28 times in 27 verses throughout the Old Testament.
Psalm 19:7 “The Law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.”
The phrase here is actually “is perfect,” which translates to the Hebrew word tāmîm (pronounced taw-meem’). The biblical usage means complete, whole, entire, sound. This word, tāmîm, occurs 91 times in 85 verses.
Ezekiel 7:12-13 “Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven, perfect peace. And now I have issued a decree that any of the people of Israel and their priests and the Levites in my kingdom who are willing to go to Jerusalem, may go with you.”
The word “perfect” is translated from the Hebrew word, “gᵊmar” (pronounced ghem-ar’ … ghemer), which is a verb that means to complete.
Isaiah 25:1 “LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders. Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.
The phrase here is “with perfect” and translates to the Hebrew word “’ōmen” (pronounced oh-men’), which is used just one time to mean faithfulness.
“All who pass along the way
Clap their hands in ridicule at you;
They hiss and shake their heads
At the daughter of Jerusalem:
“Is this the city of which they said,
‘Perfect in beauty,
A joy to all the earth’?”
The word perfect is actually literally translated to “the perfection” from the Hebrew word “kālîl” (pronounced kaw-leel’), which means entire, all perfect.
Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
The greek word for perfect is “teleios” (pronounced tel’-i-os), which means “brought to its end; finished.”
10.52 – Bible use of excellence
Ruth 3:11 Boaz says to Ruth….“So now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you say, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.”
Excellence is the Hebrew word, hayil (pronounced khah’-yil), a masculine noun. Its biblical use includes an illustration of strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Excellence, here, is the Greek word, aretē (pronounced ar-et’-ay), a feminine noun. Its biblical use includes an illustration of a virtuous course of thought, feeling, and action; virtue, moral goodness; any particular moral excellence, such as modesty, purity
2 Peter 1:3 “for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
2 Peter 1:5 “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge”
13.40 – Excellence is a virtue. It is moral goodness. It does not mean perfect, and it is only connected to perfection in that excellence is the result of being made perfect in Christ.
3 Reasons Perfectionism is Feeding Your Anxiety:
14.28 – #1: Unbiblical
Only Jesus is perfect
Literally driven by your own flesh
*Focusing on yourself
*Attempting to appeal to humans
Galatians 1:10 // who are you really trying to please?
*Creating an appearance – which can be a form of idolatry.
15.33 – #2: Unrealistic
Nothing will ever actually be perfect
Someone will always be dissatisfied
15.44 – #3: Unsustainable
You can’t keep up the act or appearance of a perfect presentation and be at peace. You always worry. Fear drives the urge to continue to alter and adjust so that you meet some pretend measure or level of perfection.
Perfectionism bears bad fruit because the truth is, you are always striving, yet you never actually get there. It does not allow you to ever be at peace. Nothing is ever enough. It is as if Jesus died in vain because you have to do it all in your strength to meet this standard you will never meet. That constant doubt pushes you to act in your own strength; the neverending worry and focus on what might be coming if this doesn’t go right and if you don’t deliver on that — in the temporal, not eternal — is the exact definition of anxiety.
Head to herrenewestrength.com/community to join the next Bible study.
Check out Episode 41: Are You A People-Pleaser?
Website: Her Renewed Strength
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I'm so glad you're here. I look forward to connecting with you. Blessings! -E