BEST OF: Called to Be Perfect but Not Perfectionists

Listen to podcast audio:

A lot of people say that they’re a perfectionist. Being hyper-critical of our situation, our friends, our work and ourselves is encouraged by our culture. Many would say this is what drives us to do better. But what if it mostly just drives people to exhaustion, anxiety and depression? Perfectionism, never feeling like anything is good enough, always feeling like you need to do better and accomplish more, is like running on an endless treadmill. Worst of all, it’s motivated by fear. What if we were motivated by love rather than the fear of being less than perfect?

Key Questions from the Podcast

  • What is self-compassion? Is it selfish and self-indulgent?

  • If you’re supposed to die to self, how do you love yourself?

  • Why do small mistakes sometimes turn into self-loathing?

  • How do we stop treating ourselves in a loathsome way, but rather in a loving way?

Notable Quotes from the Podcast

I understand the mentality of such a wretch I am, and I can say that. I can say there's worminess to me, and there's wretchedness in me, and there's sinfulness in me, and there's despicable parts of me that I don't want to be like, but that's not who I am. – Gary Wilkerson

There is a sinful wretchedness in a lost soul, but it doesn't mean that that's a worthlessness. A human being has value and worth in God's eyes, even a non-Christian human being. – Gary Wilkerson

Just as the Bible says, "Don't be drunk with wine," it also says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." The word there' is "agape." It means unconditional love that is not based on performance. There's this call of scripture to obedience to love yourself. – Gary Wilkerson

Loving yourself is not being selfish. It is not being self-absorbed. It is not being self-centered. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true. The more you have the agape for yourself, you're better able to give it. – Gary Wilkerson

We spend a lot of our life not actually being ourselves, not comfortable with ourselves, feeling like everything we're doing is wrong. That's where perfectionism comes from. "I can correct the sense of worthlessness, the sense of never being enough, I can correct that if I'm perfect.” – Gary Wilkerson

So many Christians are phonies, because they're not able to be real. They're not able to tell God or others their struggles pain, or failures. We hide things and we cover things, and we put on fronts. That's why the church gets the reputation of hypocritical. – Gary Wilkerson

If you feel like you're never enough, no external validation will ever prove to you that you are enough. You'll never be healed of that internal wound, as long as you have the idol of external validation. – Gary Wilkerson

Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast

But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” – Acts 10:15

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matthew 6:26

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Mark 12:31a

And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. – Matthew 7:26-27

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” – John 2:19

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast


About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

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