“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”—John 15:13, ESV
Demands mark the lives of perfectionists. Since they only desire the “best” (however best is defined), they engage in a life-long mission of control—controlling first the situation around them and also the people in their lives. Because they have an idea of what the life they desire looks like, they use the very people God has placed in their lives as tools to reach this goal.
They make demands on how their friends should live, walk, eat, dress, speak, etc., all in order to ensure that their little standards on how life should be lived are met. On the surface, it may look like the perfectionist has you (the friend) and your wellbeing in mind but that is never the case. They have themselves in mind and whatever burdens they lay on your weak shoulders, they are not for your good but for their justification—before men and also—before God.
Perfection is heavy—very heavy both for the perfectionist and the people around that perfectionist. Such a life is marked by exhaustion due to unmet demands. But there is another perfect friend—this one is the essence of Perfection. His name is Jesus Christ.
Unlike your perfectionist friend who makes demands that you be perfect, Jesus—who is Perfection Personified meets the demand that you be perfect. Unlike your perfectionist friend who demands that you die so that they live, Jesus who is Perfection dies so that his imperfect friends will live. Unlike your perfectionist friend who won’t associate with you until you meet a certain demand, Jesus associates with all of us who can’t meet even the simplest demand (Romans 8:3-4). Jesus Christ is the Perfect Friend whose membership club is made up the failures, rugs, drunks, broke, the unemployed, beggars, sick, prostitutes, cheaters, and all the untouchables that no one wants to associate with.
Are you exhausted by the demands people around you make for you to the point of you resenting those people? Jesus is here, he does not demand perfection, the only requirement is your imperfection. Come to Jesus and find rest for you exhausted life. Come.