Perfectly Practical #215 - Excellence Does NOT Mean Perfection

January brings a fresh start.

So many of us strive to become better versions of ourselves in the New Year by losing weight, getting a handle on our finances, making more of our relationships, etc.  Those things are most certainly encouraged and admirable.

We set ourselves up for failure mentally though when we make resolutions and at the first stumbling block, we stay down instead of getting back up.

We think that excellence is perfection since often those two very separate entities are used interchangeably.
Ecclesiastes 9:10  "Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might..."
Excellence embodies the idea of intention and execution.

Excellence for an adult and excellence for a child will be just as different as your excellence and your neighbor's excellence.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity about personal failures, excellence is about doing the absolute best one can with what is available.

I Corinthians 10:31 "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God..."

Perfection leaves no room for improvement.  

There is an old wives' tale that says the Amish quilters make one mistake in each quilt to show that man is not perfect.  It's called the "Humility Block" but as any needleworker knows, there are plenty of mistakes to be made without adding intentional ones.

There is nothing wrong with striving for perfection.  Just realize that we are flawed people and have room to grow.

Excellence focuses on doing the best for others while perfection seems to be doing the best for my glory.

I love impromptu entertaining.  It forces me to get over myself.

For instance:

If people show up at my house and I greet them warmly, feed them, and pay attention to them I will have achieved excellence.  I did the best I could in the situation for the welfare of my guests.

My guests will most likely overlook any imperfections like a wet towel on the guest bathroom floor, the leftovers on their plate, and that I am still in yoga pants.

If instead, I opened the door to unexpected guests then promptly left them to do a quick whiz around the house to make sure everything was in place, spent time away from them to whip up a fabulous dinner, and then showered and dressed while they were still there, yes, everything would have been perfect; but, they would have felt neglected and probably noticed any flaws.  (They would have had quite a bit of time on their hands to scrutinize after all.)

The bottom line is this - intend to do and follow through.

Don't confuse excellence with perfection.  Be the best you can be.  Do the best you can do.  

Life isn't perfect but it can be excellent.
Phillipians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

This is part of WFMW.


  1. It's so easy to confuse excellence with perfection. What a wonderful reminder to be the best you can be :)

  2. I love this. Thank you for sharing - and for linking up to WFMW!


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