As I write the first text study on the Gospel of John (due out tomorrow), I continue to wrestle with a life long challenge: perfectionism. I know this gets used as the example for weakness often in job interviews, since it can be used as a strength, but this isn’t a job interview so I’m sure you’ll forgive me!
The funny thing about perfectionism is it cannot be attained in most respects. Sure I can set small and easy goals for myself and complete them, but rarely does that constitute perfectionism. Rather, goals are set up that are often beyond what is capable or sensible.
With respect to the John blog posts, I want to be able to work away at them forever. I want to have analyzed and considered all the linguistic evidence before I publish them. But, nothing would ever come out and I would quit the blog.
I read this today in a preface: “The writing of this book has taken five years, and had I realized at the outset the scale of the task I was undertaking, I am not sure I would have had the courage to begin” (Horrocks, Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers). And in John commentaries I frequently see it mentioned that many writers have undertaken to write these commentaries but they had to be finished by others because they died before they could finish them! This testifies to that massive task that writing something on John can be and to a host of other factors, not least of which may be perfectionism.
I’m glad I didn’t think too hard about starting up this blog with the goals I had in mind because, like the writer quoted above, I probably would not have had the courage to begin. But, the content I produce cannot be helpful if it is not shared with others. And it cannot be refined by others if it is not shared with them.
With those thoughts in mind, I press forward, knowing that my studies will be far from perfect but I pray that they still yet will remain helpful.