To Be Perfect Is No Fun

There is a story in medieval Hebrew literature; and there is a Charlie Brown cartoon that expresses the same spiritual truth – that to be perfect is no fun!

In medieval Hebrew literature, there is a legend about a king who was trying to impress a woman.  He says to her:  “Do you know how rich I am?”

She was not impressed.

He tries again.  He says to her:  “Do you know how many servants I have?”

She was not impressed.

He then says:  “Do you know how many riches I have, and how many people in the world envy me?”


She was still not impressed.

And then he says:  “Do you know that I have a head-ache, and that I have had a hard day, and that I have some very difficult decisions that I must make tomorrow; and I don’t know what to do?”  And when he says that, she leans over and takes his hand and says:  “I am so sorry.  Can I be your friend?”

In a Charlie Brown cartoon, Lucy says:  “I have examined my life and found it to be perfect; and so I am going to hold a ceremony and present myself with a medal and then I will give a brilliant acceptance speech, after which I will greet myself in the receiving line.  And then I will serve myself refreshments.”  And then she says, kind of wistfully, “When you are perfect, I guess you have to do everything yourself – and that’s no fun.”

To be perfect is no fun.  If this is true, then where did we ever get the idea that we have to be perfect in order to be loved, and in order to be accepted?  Wherever we got it, is it now time to put it away; to carry our shortcomings, and to try to be better, but not to live our lives under the crushing burden of thinking we must be perfect! 

With much affection,

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