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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, September 24, 2012

It Is Not Good


(Genesis 2:18 KJV) And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 

Each time God created something in chapter one of Genesis He would always say, “It is good.” However, when we get to chapter two we hear Him saying, “It is not good.” God did not suggest that creating man was a bad idea; He was only suggesting that he needed a wife.

When God said, “It is not good,” He was saying it from a state of perfection and not from a state of condemnation. When man says something “is not good” he is speaking from a state of imperfection which is usually condemnatory.

As man goes through life learning how to improve himself, he needs to also learn how to show grace and give allowances to those on the same path. However, that is not always the case.

There seems to be two kinds of thinking on perfection. The first kind of thinking is that allowances should be given to the immature that are still mistake prone but are trying to improve themselves. The second kind of thinking is when no allowances are given and perfection is expected immediately. These folks call themselves perfectionists even though they themselves are not perfect.

I have a dear friend (who is not on this mailing list, thank God), that I have known for many years. In our long acquaintance I have never known this person to be satisfied with anything that anyone has ever done for her. I watched her and her husband hire contractors to finish out an office. The job should have taken two weeks, but it took a year and a half because she was never satisfied with the colors on the wall or the shape of a curved corner wall. I watched them remodel their home which should have taken no more than six months, but ended up taking a couple of years.

She would pick out the paint color for the walls, and when the contractor finished painting it she would say he changed the color to a different shade. I have a very good eye when it comes to colors and remodeling and I thought the contractor did a fantastic job, but she would never accept it.

I watched my friends do many projects over a fifteen year period. No contractor they had ever came close to breaking even on their jobs, but they would keep working anyway.

The fact is...there is no such thing as a true perfectionist. There are only folks who set the standard so high that it is unattainable for themselves or anyone else. The reason they set the standards so high is usually because they never felt they measured up as a child. Later on in life they unconsciously reflect their own inability to measure up by setting extremely high standards for themselves and others.

These are precious folks and I love them dearly, but they live life far below the standard of joy that God intended for them. This type of perfection belongs to God and Him alone. When man expects perfection of others God says, “It is not good.”

Father,
Our desire is to be more like You. We desire to improve everyday as we go through life, but we also want to show Your kind of grace for those who are also trying to improve. Help us not to expect a perfection in others that belongs only to You.
Amen

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