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A Source of Joy

Perfectionist’s refuse to accept any standard short of perfection. In context of psychology, perfectionism is a broad personality style characterized by a person’s concern with striving for flawlessness. For those of you who possess this mentality, perfection is accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations. Until perfection is achieved, there is no time to celebrate, express joy or satisfaction.

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope, Romans 15:13.

As a former athlete who was consumed with perfection, joy was rare. Despite a successful high school and college intramural career, I never enjoyed the victories like I should have, Instead of embracing the chance to compete, I got distracted by wins and losses. While winning felt good, if I made some mistakes or didn’t live up to my own expectations, I walked off the court, course or field feeling miserable.

And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them], Philippians 4:7-8.

After having kids, I came back to the athletic field with a new appreciation. I spent 5 years in a competitive men’s softball league. Each time I ran out to center field or stepped up to the plate, I took on a Philippians 4:8 mindset, savoring each opportunity to play. The last 2 years I joined a Friday night volleyball team to play aside my daughter Lydia. Although our playoff runs ended quickly, I found a source of joy. While our record wasn’t as good as I hoped, the joy of Christ is replacing my old perfectionist nature.

by Jay Mankus

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