I'm an internal perfectionist. What is that you ask? I demand perfectionism in and of myself. It doesn't display itself in neat, orderly fashion in my house, clothing, or things around me (although I like order). It displays itself in wanting to be perfect, the very best person I can be--all by myself. It makes me want to be God's favorite--even people's favorite. You may be an external perfectionist where your rows have to be neat and you hate pencil eraser marks.
The problem with being a perfectionist is demanding something of ourselves that even God doesn't demand. He knows we can't be perfect--and doesn't expect it. When we demand that of ourselves, we're setting ourselves up to be gods of our own lives. (Think "control" here.) Matthew 5:48 (Amp) says, "You, therefore, must be perfect (growing into complete maturity of godliness in the mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity), as your heavenly Father is perfect." God just wants us to be consistently, beautifully, gracefully growing into the likeness of Jesus. And that's not even something we can do ourselves! It has to happen through the power of the Holy Spirit and our willingness to allow Him to change us from glory to glory. Galatians 5:22-23 talks about the fruit of the Spirit--things only the Spirit of God can do. It's an inner change He makes in our hearts and minds that expresses itself outwardly through things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control.
God wants growth. When it says, "...having reached the proper height..," I kind of picture God's growth chart. He's as anxious as we are as parents to mark the growth of His children. It's a fun thing for Him to watch! But He's measuring character and a changed heart and mind. Are we becoming more like Jesus? That's the goal!
It's taken a lot for me to see this. I imposed my perfectionism on my family which only brought about rebellion and lots of frustration. God continues to free me and to teach me more and more about grace. Grace, grace...
"[All] are justified made upright in right standing with God, freely gratuitously by His (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus..."