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Do you have a question about how Christianity can be applied in your daily life?  Read some questions and answers from RLC's column in the Pembroke Observer and feel free to ask your own questions!  This Blog will give you a sample of some past columns.



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16
Hold My Ground- October 23, 2010
January 16, 2011

Dear Sam,

  My boyfriend and I are going through a hard time. He is accusing me of being a perfectionist, as if that were bad and wrong. Yes, I do want things to be done properly and in an orderly way. If they were, problems would disappear. Instead, he wants everything to be “natural”, spontaneous and imperfect. This drives me crazy, and I think he is dead wrong. This world needs more people who are committed to doing things right. Should I just give up on him?
  -Hold my ground-


Dear Hold,

  It may be that it is ground you will be holding and not your boyfriend. It sounds like you would rather have a relationship with your own perfect opinions than with a real, live, imperfect human being. And this may actually be the crux of the matter. It is certainly safer to pre-know everything than to have to admit that there are situations in life that are messy, that you cannot solve by intelligence or commitment or persistence. Since I don’t know either of you, I’m at a disadvantage. Maybe your boyfriend is an irresponsible slob who really is wrong about you. In that case, your question should be “why have I attached myself to someone who, by word and action, insists on offending my belief system?” Good question, isn’t it?
   Perfection in this imperfect, constantly-changing world is virtually impossible. If you could reach this goal, you would certainly be above reproach, above criticism, and above most everyone else. And that’s a pretty isolated place to be. But isolated may be safer than to be rubbing shoulders with all those imperfect people who are of small value to a world that needs proper fixing up.
   Are a few key words popping out?: above everyone else, isolated, safe, valuable. Perfectionism in the clinical sense is, in fact, a psychological problem. It is a cover for a feeling of inferiority and the inability to function smoothly in a social situation. It will be important for you to actually observe yourself to see if there is any merit in your boyfriend’s analysis. Do you find fault easily, belittling others and their contribution, collecting and tabulating evidence against others to prove that they are less and you are more? Would you rather help someone do well, or watch them fail? Would you look for help from others or do you go it alone? Are you going to consider your boyfriend’s comments as an opportunity to grow in self-awareness, or would you rather ditch him than work with him to create a relationship that balances two sides of the scale?
   I am a little scared for you: if he is right, you might ignore him to your peril. If he is wrong, you might be in danger of him. It is the very imperfection of your relationship right now that could be its salvation, but you will have to get your hands dirty as you sort through the tangle and mess of the feelings and accusations you are hurling at each other. Before you decide to stay or leave, do the hard work. That’s never neat and clean and orderly. So there’s the answer. Are you committed to doing relationship right?


INSIDE THE ISSUE is authored thru Resurrection Lutheran Church, 250 Quarry Rd, Pembroke. Sunday Worship at 10:30am http://sites.advancedministry.com/ResurrectionLutheranChurch

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