Hello from the english heat wave which seems to have waved goodbye if it was ever here at all!
Today is the feast of St Thomas the apostle (doubting Thomas) and so what better a day to talk about perfectionism which in many ways is the opposite of doubt!
Perfectionists are like Thomas. They like things black or white, yes or no, on or off!
Perfectionists often only trust themselves (pride) and so unless they get concrete personal proof they won’t believe anybody else!
Perfectionists are often hardworking and stubborn too!
Now worry not, Jesus had mercy on Thomas who later travelled as far as India preaching and working miracles but nonetheless He was disappointed in Him!
So why? Was it or is it a sin to doubt?
Of course not. Jesus was disappointed because despite reasonable evidence Thomas still refused to believe. He had seen Jesus work miracles including raising the dead and now the other 10 disciples were all claiming to have seen Jesus….surely enough to at least take on board what they were saying!
But no, stubborn Thomas wouldn’t move an inch and refused to believe or even begin to believe and herein lies the sin!
Indeed my own journey has taught me this lesson the hard way! Initially when I was converted and claimed Jesus had come to me and was calling me to giving my life to Him and living by providence my family thought I was nuts.
However I deemed this at the time to be reasonable as it was a lot to take on board!
But when 10 years later despite yesrs and years of miracle stories they were still almost just as hard and indifferent my heart felt the pain of their hardness!
And coming back to the perfectionist! Perfectionists like to be in control and are often very rational minded!
Like Thomas, the spiritual disturbs them! They like law and order and often they like material comfort and si the idea of there being a spiritual world terrifies them!
Perfectionists give no glory to God. They are wounded insecure people constantly needing to reaffirm their worth through their perfection!
Often they are people who suffer with anxiety because deep down they know that they are not in control and that they are far from perfect!
And yet perfectionists are loved by God who wants to lead them on the road of perfection and sainthood!
If I permit myself to write like this about perfectionists it is because I too was one of them and this tendency is still not fully dead in me!
So what is the remedy?
Well like Thomas, to fall on our knees and say “my Lord and my God” and to repent in one’s heart and in one’s way of life by making amends where possible and taking up prayer and transformation of the heart!
St Thomas the apostle, doubting Thomas! Put healthy doubt in the hard hearts of unbelieving perfectionists and remove unhealthy doubt from believing perfectionists!
Only God and God alone is perfect! May our only perfection be in the freeing truth of our nothingness and His mercy!
Have a perfect day!