This is one from the archives. But it seems appropriate as September looms and I start obsessing about new pencil cases and Getting Everything Right.
1. It makes me into a better person. Actually, no. It makes me a real pain to be around. Grumpier. More critical. More self-focused. And lonely (because ‘friends’ are actually competition).
2. It helps me perform. The reality – it stops me even trying.
3. I feel better knowing that I’ve done my best. When has my best ever been good enough?
4. It protects me from feeling ashamed or judged. Right. Nothing thrills my heart like repeatedly falling short of my own ridiculous standards. And being ruled by fear.
5. It’s possible to be perfect. So – why did Jesus have to die?
6. If I do good stuff, I’ll be accepted. Wait. Didn’t I try that? And doesn’t the gospel teach the opposite? We’re accepted first. And then we bless.
7. I’m doing it for me. Sure about that? If no-one else notices, is that really ok?
8. I’m not doing anyone any harm. Unless they want to do things in a slightly different way. In which case, there’s a problem.
9. If you don’t aim for the best, you won’t be the best. In truth, there will always be someone neater, smarter, funnier, prettier, nicer. And you can’t kill them all.
10. I’m not sure how else to live. Living is what everyone else is doing while I’m trying to get everything perfect.
‘For by one sacrifice HE has made perfect forever those who are being made holy’.