Sports Spectrum Weekly

Devotional of the Week: Relinquishing Perfection

“For there is not a just man on earth, that does good and sins not.” Ecclesiastes 7:20

As an athlete, I often struggled with aiming for perfection. In gymnastics, all of our routines in competition are scored out of a 10.0, also known as a “Perfect 10,” emphasizing the importance of making as few mistakes as possible, if any. Even during practices, we often had to complete a certain number of “perfectly” executed routines, meaning stuck landings and zero falls. With this mindset, especially in a sport filled with constructive criticism and detailed coaching, it becomes easy to strive for perfection. There’s nothing wrong with seeking improvements and honing your skills—in sports and in other aspects of your life. But, when the idea of perfection becomes an overwhelming focus, it can be detrimental. Try not to spend too much time criticizing your mistakes and shortcomings. This is a sure-fire way to kill self-confidence and discourage yourself.

Instead, let His love be perfect in you, and may we learn to forgive ourselves. The Bible tells us in 1 John 2, “whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.” Rather than striving for perfection to please others and ourselves, let’s direct our focus to the Lord. If we work hard for Jesus, striving to keep the Word, we can watch his love and grace work perfectly in us. Surrender perfection to the Lord.

By Sarah Layne

Sarah Layne serves as the director of partnerships at Sports Spectrum. This devotional was taken from Sports Spectrum’s latest Training Table, a 13-week devotional published in each print issue. Log in HERE to view the Winter 2016 print issue of Sports Spectrum or access the Winter 2016 Training Table.