Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm Not Perfect, Just Forgiven

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."
--Anna Quindlen

I saw this quote this morning and thought "oh, I love that." I wouldn't really classify myself as a perfectionist - although, I think I have been in certain ways from time to time. You see I grew up in a family where perfectionism was valued. Not that anyone thought they were actually perfect; but, there was very much a "right way" to do just about everything. I was the straight A student who was involved in everything and excelled at most things that I tried. Of course I knew I wasn't perfect (there was no way I could draw a straight line without the help of a ruler); but, I tried to do my best. I gave up perfectionism a long time ago; but, I think it is still sometimes difficult for me to extend grace and forgiveness to myself.

You know so often we think we have to be perfect in how we approach God. We think He expects perfection from us or that He won't accept us if we don't have it all together. And, sometimes we use that as a reason to keep our distance instead of allowing our imperfections - this beautiful mess that we are - to push us closer to Christ, to make us draw near to the One who is Perfect and Holy and Who Loves Us So Much. It is in the midst of our imperfection, in the midst of the struggle and difficulty, in the midst of our mess that we are reminded just how much we need a Savior. Our faith is strengthened as we trust God to be our everything.

I was reminded again this morning of just how human I am as I accidentally gave away the answer to the Impossible Question (you're kind of not supposed to give the answer away - that's the point of the Impossible Question) and spilled my coffee all over everything (thankfully, it was only on things that were not electronic). I started laughing and felt as though God was reminding me that I really could lighten up and laugh and just trust Him. His love for me is PERFECT and that's the only Perfection that matters.

Romans 5 says, "By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God. Christ has also introduced us to God's undeserved kindness on which we take our stand. So we are happy, as we look forward to sharing in the glory of God. But that's not all! We gladly suffer, because we know that suffering helps us to endure. And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope that will never disappoint us."

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