Christian Counselor Seattle
Who am I? Where am I headed in life? What is my purpose? How do I change? These are familiar questions we ask ourselves in our quest for personal development and meaning. They can also be some of the most difficult questions to answer. Many of the clients I work with come in for therapy because they are desperately seeking answers to these questions. They are all bright individuals, however like you and I, their efforts to develop a firm sense of direction in life are ongoing. We simply don’t know everything, and oftentimes certain matters remain temporarily unclear, for example, what to do next in our career, or how to work through persistent difficulties with our spouse. Yet, in a culture that seemingly thrives on progress and information, is it possible to not know everything, to make mistakes, to be imperfect and yet live a fulfilling life? Absolutely, and acknowledging you aren’t perfect and don’t have all the answers can have profound implications for shaping how you live.
There Has to Be More
I realize you may think this is all too simplistic. However, listen to what Dr. Richard A. Davis, Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, and partner at RHR International says about fallibility. He describes how in our American culture we are socialized to save face and to appear flawless by having the perfect kids, the perfect car, the perfect job, and the perfect leadership. The idea driven into us is that we need to continually strive to be the best and that making mistakes is simply not acceptable (Davis, 2010). Davis questions this notion by showing that great success isn’t necessarily achieved because you’re always the best, but rather because of fallibility; namely that in not being number one all the time you are forced to get better at what you do (Davis, 2010). So what does this mean for those of us who feel like we have to always be the best or know everything right now?
It means not having perfect answers to all the questions mentioned earlier can actually be beneficial. We are essentially challenged to think, explore, search, grow, and take risks. For Christians, it also means we have an opportunity to abide by Proverbs 3:5 which states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight (NIV).” This scripture flies in the face of the idea God will always tell us what to do. Rather, he has given us a mind and the ability to make decisions and is clearly aware of our imperfections. Therefore, he reminds us he will be there to help us correct our course when we get off the proper path.
I can see how some would try to misconstrue this information to mean we should, therefore, aim to be lazy, to always make mistakes, and to simply be content with not having information. On the contrary, the emphasis of this article is on the importance of understanding your fallibility, using it to your advantage in aims to develop who you are, and knowing the importance of trusting God in the process of it all. In other words, it is ok to be imperfect, to not always have answers to the deep questions in life, and yet have peace in knowing God is with you as you seek to grow day by day.
Personal development is truly an ongoing process. Here at Seattle Christian Counseling, we look forward to helping you on your journey of growth. Simply reach us by going to seattlechristiancounseling.com.
View the video related to this article
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Davis, Richard A. (2010). Intangibles of leadership: The 10 qualities of superior executive performance. Mississauga, ON: John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd.
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