Are Perfectionists Always Right

Some people seem to exist only in order to point out what is wrong about what everyone else does. You know these people. I hope one of them isn’t you! These are people whom you avoid at receptions. You hate to get stuck in the same room alone with them.

I was around one of those critical people the other day, and I started to think. (That’s one of my vices; I’m always thinking.) What is it that makes these people think that they are always right? Or, even, are they always right?

Even worse–am I one of those people sometimes?

I’ve listened to many during my long life. Seems to me most, if not all, fit into the category Jesus described when he said that you’re more worried about the speck of dust in your neighbor’s eye than in the plank in your own eye.

Jesus challenged people. He could see through people into what their real motivations were. He’d say things like, “Sell all your possessions and follow me.” He could see what was holding that person back from truly following him.

Where Jesus did  get critical was toward his archenemies–the Pharisees. These guys lived that life of pointing out what was wrong about everyone else. But they really tried to be perfect in their lives just as they were telling other people to be perfect.

Except–

You can’t live a perfect life. And to tell others to do that is to pile up burdens on them. And that is not the way to salvation.

Jesus was critical towards the Pharisees. He’d point out all their inconsistencies. How they were more worried about the outside of the cup than the inside. Symbolic of how they were more concerned with their outward appearance than with inner holiness.

My guess is that those critical people could use a dose of love. Leading to understanding and empathy. And worry about their own inner life. Not so much worrying about other people.

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