The righteous desire to be perfect can overwhelm us and tear us down, but redefining perfection can help us draw closer to Christ.
The expectation to be perfect makes it easy for us to compare ourselves to others and fear that our mistakes are keeping us from deserving God’s love. We are supposed to be striving for perfection, but when it feels so far out of reach, we can crumble under fears and pressure. Often, as we try to gain more control over the circumstances and people around us, and as we worry about the mistakes that we make, we feel even further from the perfection we desire.
In the article “Becoming Perfect in Christ,” from the July 2014 Ensign, Elder Gerrit W. Gong encourages us to develop a deeper understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the greatest act of love. As we do so, we can gain courage from knowing that we are not “absolutely perfect or hopelessly flawed”; rather, we are a work in progress. By having faith and embracing repentance and the power of the Atonement, our doubts and fears can be relieved as we come to learn that becoming perfect is a process.
In times of anxiety or heavy burdens, when the pressure to be perfect wearies our spirits, Elder Gong encourages us to ask ourselves if how we define and measure perfection is based on “the doctrines of the Savior’s atoning love or by the world’s standards.” When we sincerely recognize Christ’s infinite love for each of us, we can face our challenges and weaknesses with faith and confidence, knowing that he can lead us to perfection.
Read “Becoming Perfect in Christ” and consider how you can redefine perfection for yourself.
—Nicole Terry, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
Read Hillary Olsen’s talk “Breaking Expectations” to learn about how you can overcome the world’s expectations and instead focus on Heavenly Father’s expectations.
Understand the differences between mortal and eternal perfection by pondering “Perfection Pending,” by Russell M. Nelson.
Watch Jeffrey R. Holland’s Mormon Message “Like a Broken Vessel” to discover places to seek help when discouragement becomes too much to handle.
For a reminder of why it is important to keep trying, read Jessica Staples’s article “Failing on the Path to Perfection.”