• Heidi J. Smith

Obsessed with Perfection: Lesson from Eve

Photo from Mehrdad Haghighi from Unsplash

Do you desire to be the perfect woman?

You think, "If I can do everything just right, then everything will be ok.

If I find a husband and have a baby, then my life will be complete.

If I exercise and eat healthy, then disease will not plague my house.

If my house sparkles and delicious food graces the table every night, then my family will be grateful. If I monitor my kids technology, then they will be safe.

If my family attends church every Sunday, then we will be spiritual.

If I get this next promotion at work, then my financial problems will be over."

Then you scurry around and arrange everything, only to have something or someone mess it up. Frustrated, you try again, and the cycle repeats.

In my life I have struggled with perfectionism. I try to control the situation and hope the outcome will be good. If I do "xyz," then life will be peachy.

But life doesn't work like that. We can not control the circumstances or the characters. We are only responsible for ourselves. The more we chase after perfection, the farther we drift from our Perfecter.

Obsession with perfection brings disappointment, but obsession with the Perfecter brings contentment.

In the Bible, Eve lived in perfection. God created her with a flawless body, gave her the model husband, and placed her in a beautiful garden home. She had everything, but she desired more.

Strolling among the fruit trees, Adam and Eve walked on soft grass and heard birds chirping. They bit into juicy fruit and petted tigers and bears. They shared sweet conversations with each other and God.

When the serpent offered Eve the fruit, he tempted her with more. He said, "Eve, you can be like God. You will be wiser. Why won't you want this delicious fruit?" (my paraphrasing)

“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." Genesis 3:5-6 NIV

Her longing to be like God led to disaster.

Sin and death entered the world. Thorns and thistles cursed the ground, while Adam and Eve lost their garden home. Sadness replaced peace. Women would experience pain in child birth, and people would shame and blame. Brothers would envy and murder. The innocent became cursed and damned.

Obsession with perfection brings disaster, but obsession with the Perfecter brings hope.

God offered hope by promising an Offspring to crush Satan and save the condemned (Genesis 3:15). He clothed Adam and Eve and relocated them outside the garden. He even blessed them with children.

"Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel." Genesis 4:1-2 NIV

"Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” Genesis 4:25 NIV

Eve shifted from desiring perfection to desiring the Perfecter. She relied on the Lord to help her.

How about us? Are we captivated on controlling our circumstances rather than our Creator? Are we consumed with achievement rather than our Almighty? Are we obsessed with perfection more than our Perfecter?

We become obsessed with our Perfecter when we...

1. Desire His presence more than anything else (Genesis 3:8). God wants to have a relationship with us. With Eve, He walked and talked in the garden. With us, we read our Bible and pray.

2. Realize He is in complete control (Genesis 3:20-24). God provided clothes and placed a cherubim to guard the garden. He moved Adam and Eve to a new home. He took care of the situation, just as He takes care of our situations. Nothing is too hard for him.

3. Trust in Him (Genesis 4:1). Eve relied on God, and we should too.

Lord, thank you for the example of Eve: the first woman, wife, sinner, mom, and grandma. Help us to desire You more than anything else. Help us to set aside control for dependency in You. Help us to be obsessed with You rather than perfection.

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Heidi J. Smith