Are you striving to be perfect in all things? Your job, motherhood, your role as a wife or friend? Being a Christian? This is extremely exhausting and the weight is so cumbersome. I know… because this is something that I have struggled with for years.
If you are saying this is you too, you are not alone and you can find freedom in this through Christ. When you know the truth of what is considered perfect in the Bible, you will feel so free and released from this weight.
In addition to knowing the truth in the Bible, you can also go through these practical steps I have listed below each day. They will help you keep walking in this freedom.
What Does the Bible Say About Perfection?
Is God perfect in the Bible? This might be a question you are asking yourself. The Bible says that Jesus is perfect, only him, and therefore you shouldn’t believe the lie that you can be also—because you are not God and will never be. This is so freeing.
“He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22, ESV)
He took your place on the cross so you don’t have to strive to be perfect. You are not under the bondage of the law anymore; Jesus set you free from legalism and striving. You now have the Holy Spirit inside of you, to help you not live in sin but righteousness; this is who you are. While you won’t and can’t do things perfectly, you are righteous, so you have the gift of his grace and know where you will spend eternity.
Does God See Us as Perfect?
God sees us as perfect. The Father sees you as perfect—righteous, with no sin—because you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, acknowledging that Jesus took your place on the cross. That is why you can have a relationship with him. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, taking your place because he loves you.
“For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14, ESV)
You don’t have to suffer each day trying to get everyone’s approval or looking for their acceptance. You are being transformed into the image of Christ—that’s a lifelong process that won’t be complete until you stand before him in heaven.
You are his child. He loves you and accepts you as you are. Your self worth is not based on performance anymore; you are not a failure if you don’t do everything well. You are just his glorious child. This is perfect in the Bible.
Does God Expect Us to Be Perfect?
God does not expect you to be perfect, so you shouldn’t expect that of yourself either. Perfectionism may be accepted by the world but it goes against God—it’s not the standard at which God calls you to live by or strive for.
It’s hard to break out of perfectionism, because you think it’s ok… but it’s not. God’s word doesn’t say we should live that way. Rest is good. It’s a gift. You shouldn’t try to live up to such a false standard. It’s not healthy and really only leads to heartache. We all fall short of the glory of God.
“… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV)
You have to accept that you will mess up, that you can’t do all things perfectly (even though you want to); instead, you should humble yourself before God. You need to accept his grace in your imperfection and continue to run the race toward obeying his commands in the Bible, knowing that he fulfilled the law so you don’t have to strive.
Forgive yourself; don’t be so hard on yourself, beating yourself up. Give yourself grace. Your salvation is a gift and you didn’t do anything to deserve it. Accept Jesus is perfect and you don’t have to be. This truth is very freeing.
When you are finding yourself trying to be perfect again, remember the answer to “does God want us to be perfect?” No.
He wants you to look to him and humble yourself before him: giving him all things, and relying on him. Accept the truth of who you are—righteous before him, but at the same time an imperfect person who needs him—knowing he will perfectly lead you. Jesus is perfect; thankfully, you don’t have to be.
Verses About Perfection
There are perfectionism Bible verses (verses with the word “perfect” in them) but they don’t mean you need to try to be perfect. For instance:
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, ESV)
Knowing the meaning of this scripture about being perfect will help you realize that God is not calling you to strive for perfection. It’s quite the opposite.
Instead, Jesus is telling you that “perfect” in the Bible looks like following, doing, and obeying everything that he says in his word—his commandments—as Jesus did with the Father. You only need to rely on him and commit to following him, knowing you have grace when you mess up. In the places you are weak, when you rely on his strength, he will do great things in these areas.
This is a commitment. You should be committed to Christ—instead of striving for earthly things—and seeking to follow him and his word completely. This can be done by relying on him and his power. Knowing the real meaning of Bible verses about not being perfect sets us free from believing the lie we are able to be perfect. They are “no one is perfect” Bible verses.
Perfect in the Bible
The truth of what is “perfection” in the Bible is so freeing, as his truth sets you free. He is perfect and you don’t have to be. You don’t have to strive anymore. You are not under the law. Your works don’t save you.
Instead, your commitment to Christ is what is needed. You commit to him and obey him because you love him and therefore want to please him.
Below, you will find 4 practical steps you can do each day with Christ to keep walking free from perfectionism.
The first step in staying free from perfectionism now that you know the truth of who you are in Christ is to literally, out loud in the mirror, say to yourself: “I am not perfect.”
You can also say “I am not a perfect _______” (mother, wife, co-worker, etc.)
Admitting you are not perfect takes away the thought and lie that you have to be each day and allows you to accept the truth of who you are in Christ and not strive for this unrealistic goal. It brings it to the light of Christ so you can walk in freedom.
2. Confess and Repent
Next, after you admit to yourself you are not perfect, it’s time to confess this to the Lord and repent of it.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, ESV)
Take the time to do this for each specific instance that the Lord brings to mind.
“Lord, I confess I have been trying to perfect in ______. I confess this and repent of this. I repent for believing the lie that I could be perfect in these ways: ______.”
3. Replace the Lie With Truth
You are not perfect and now that you specifically gave that to the Lord, it’s time to replace it with the truth. Find scriptures in the Bible to replace the lie of perfectionism with truth so you don’t keep walking in this false identity. Use some from above. This allows you to humble yourself before the Lord, depending on him as you know he is perfect and you are not.
Finally, in prayer, humble yourself before the Lord—tell him you need him to help you in all the areas you said you were not perfect. Completely surrender all the areas you were trying to be perfect in to him, and see him move in powerful ways. Continue to keep yourself relying on him, not trying to strive for perfectionism. Rely on his strength, not your own works.
Perfect in the Bible is knowing Jesus is perfect and you are not. It’s accepting that he is perfect and you don’t have to be. Keep focusing on “What does the Bible say about being perfect?” 4 practical steps you can do each day with Christ to keep walking free of perfectionism are admit, confess and repent, replace the lie with truth, and surrender. God has set you free from perfectionism. Know the truth and keep living free with these truths.