Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons


2013-02-10 Pr 12:1



To download the audio-file, right-click here and select "Save target as" or "Save Link As".

Download MS Word File

III. Perfectionism is deriving our worth/value from accomplishments in the temporal rather than the eternal spiritual realm...  
         [selectively and overly obeying our choice of commands to the exclusion (disobedience) of other, weightier commands]
…to impress ourselves, others and even God (doing temporal and even spiritual activities for looking good in the sight of men);
…that results in paralysis, obsessiveness, hypocrisy, discontent, frustration and failure.


A. Perfectionism arises from a lack of genuine accomplishment (especially in God’s sight) and/or (parental/self) approval.
A poor self image stems from a lack of parental approval/attention in childhood, and failure to achieve and recognize real success/competency in adulthood. Frequently perfectionists are accomplished but still driven, and unhappy.
A perfectionist covers up failure and guilt in other realms by overcompensating in a less significant realm. God designed guilt to make us feel badly when sinning. It is impossible to have a clear conscience while engaging in sinful thoughts/attitudes/behavior.
We try to cover up our inadequacy with fig leaves of overachievement in usually insignificant areas where we feel we have an easy advantage. This backfires on two accounts: 1) failure to deal with the real problem to gain God’s approbation,
and 2) a hollow victory which we “achieved” in an insignificant area or by cheating.


B. Symptoms of imperfect perfectionsim: lack of joyful contentment
1.  Failure to recognize and enjoy (partial) accomplishments (belittle achievements): I wouldn’t join any club that would accept me.
2.  All or nothing approach which comes from either a poor self image that can’t risk failure or a pride that says. “If I can’t do it “well” I won’t do it at all” which really says: “If I can’t indulge my carnal desire to do it my way. I won’t play at all.”
3.  Unrealistic goals. Procrastination for rationalization. Hypercritical Self talk or escapism when one fails.
4.  Lack of Receptivity to help/input because it undermines alleged competence; Reject suggestions if didn’t think of it themselves
5.  Put on a show: Care more about your plan for impressing with perfection than the other person
6.  Enslaved to expectations of others; or faulty view of self; ego driven; No perseverance/endurance; Sluggard.
7. Defensive/Aggressive when cover blown; Must blame others for lack of achievement.


C. Help and Hope
1. When we tire of wasting our lives unsuccessfully trying to cover-up alleged or real failure, there’s hope.
Need humility to admit (recognize and claim responsibility/ownership) for our faults. Without it, we stay stupid.
Pr 12:1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge: but he that hates reproof is stupid.
Need a willingness to learn and grow from mistakes; a perspective that we are imperfect people in process. PBPGINFWMY


2. Instead of all or nothing, it’s better to have risked and lost, than never to have tried.
God judges us on our faithfulness, not our outward accomplishment - perfection.
Need minimum standards, consistently achieved. “What about Bob” baby steps.
lf it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly (at first) and might be worth keeping at below average to achieve higher goals.


3. Reparent Yourself        
Accept Reality (you’re damaged);
Blame appropriately (parent’s fault);
Consider causes (ancestral curse; damaged parents beget damaged kids; end it with your generation)
Decide to forgive (to free from bitterness and open up channel of Gods grace-power):
Emphasize positive (your need for God’s grace has been enhanced; you can better relate to others who hurt, etc.):
GROW by Godly GOALS that earn the pleasure and approval of God, the only source of real and enduring worth:
Find Friends (for Support in achieving your goals {Body}):
Help others through same process.
Ingrain (and imagine) a new value system. Suggestions: My worth comes from daily decision to deny self to obey and please God:
Process is more important than product; A little effort consistently expended will beat the hare; By the yard it’s hard, by the inch it’s a cinch: The Spiritual and Eternal supersede the Material and Temporal: Who I am is more important that what I do; I’d rather be a failure in a cause that ultimately succeeds than a success in a cause that ultimately fails; What God (who looks at the heart) thinks of me is more important than what others (who look at temporal appearances) think of me; All who will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer grief from others and discouragement from Satan; I can’t please all the people all the time, nor even myself; A failed attempt to obey is better than success at disobedience: If I fail and learn from my failure, I’m farther along the road to success than if I don’t try, don’t learn, or don’t get up; This world is not all there is, there’s a new world coming in which God rewards righteousness, and God will give me all I need to do His righteous will. Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly (at first).


Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1.  How does a failure to understand the temporal and “positional” aspects of telios-“perfect” lead to temporal and eternal imperfections?
2. Why does the law fail to perfect? What does Christ offer that’s superior? Is the law of benefit to NT believers?
3. If perfectionists appear successful, what’s wrong? Is it wrong to get your worth from what you do? What are other sources of worth?
4. Are men and women different in exhibiting perfectionism? How do women/mothers commonly exhibit perfectionism? Men?
5. Why does Jesus command us to be perfect (Mt 5:48)?  How would a commitment to Biblical obedience “solve” perfectionism?
6.Does everyone need to reparent themselves? Where do people get hung-up in the reparenting process?