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Excellence vs Perfection



I’ve had a little crush on Michael J. Fox ever since I saw him hit 88 miles per hour and this quote makes me appreciate him even more. Excellence and perfection do seem to get used interchangeably in our society especially now that the average person can have a manufactured “image” to uphold. That used to be the realm of celebrities with people only knowing the us we presented in real life. Now, so many people feel the need to present a caricature of who they truly are as if they were talking to a fan magazine or a gossip column. It’s wild at best and damaging at worst but seems to be here to stay.


As a recovering perfectionist, I like the way Mr. Fox views the world. Excellence IS something I can strive for and actually achieve. We should put our best foot forward and represent ourselves well BUT that doesn’t require perfection which took me a long time to understand. Do I post the absolute worst pictures of myself online? Of course not! I choose the ones that I like the best but do I then filter those pictures so that I don’t have pores or lines or any feature that resembles what God gave me? Definitely not! I’d rather just not post a picture. This is a concept I’m trying to help my students understand because this is foreign to them.


The honor student in me also appreciates this concept because you won’t always get every answer correct or do everything well. It’s okay to not be good at stuff and to not make a perfect score on something. In fact, I’d say it’s human and natural but I can work for excellence. Colossians 3:23-24 reminds us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”


The Lord is carrying out His plan of perfecting us but that is not one that will come to completion until we reach Glory. We can, however, work towards excellence because we are representatives of Christ and bear His name. Just as I always want to represent my family name well, I want to represent my heavenly name well, also. So, let’s not chase the facade of perfection that this world seems to demand of us now but rather run towards the excellence we have been called to by the Father.


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