Is there anything in your life that keeps you from being perfect? Maybe it is a physical limitation like a mole on your forehead, a chipped tooth, wonky toes, or hair in places you don’t want it or missing from places you want it. Or is your imperfection related to how your brain works or doesn’t work in some situations, your ability to read or listen and make sense of a problem. Maybe it is about how you relate and get along with others, including those within your own family, because there is always one of those. Or maybe its all of the above and you come to find out that you are full of imperfections, like me, really like everyone. We can always find something about ourselves that we don’t like, even if it is not glaringly obvious to others, as we are often our own worst critics. We can also just as easily find things in others that we don’t like, and maybe that has caused you to say things you regret, or found out that you maybe made a bigger deal out of it than was necessary. Or, we can as easily look at others and let jealousy direct us to say ‘I want that, instead of what I have.’ The question is, what do you do about all these imperfections in yourself and others?
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
We live in a society that often tries to create an image of ourselves that says “I got it all together!” We try to hide our flaws, put on our best face, say the right things and look the right way to let others know we are doing just great. When others ask us how we are doing, we may even say, ‘just fine!’ We do at times share those shameful things about ourselves with a pastor, therapist, best friend, or someone we think cares or can help us get better. But what if we got what we wanted and really didn’t have any flaws, imperfections, or sins? What if we really thought we had it all together and really were, in our eyes…perfect? What then? Would our pride get the best of us because we were better than everyone else? Would we get everything we wanted, or would we become like a spoiled child again. Would we even need God, because hey, I finally got my life together and its really all about me, right? Or is perfection something we can’t really attain in this life, though we may try our hardest to succeed?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
We all come up short in a number of ways in this life, and that should show us our desperate need for God and others to help us get through this life well. There are those around us with glaringly evident needs, which should serve as a reminder, but if we looked at everyone as imperfect, hurting, and broken in some way, it may change our hearts for the better. Even if we lived a solitary life without the help of others, or the ability to help others, how would that benefit anyone? We all have limitations to keep us humble and to show us our need for a Perfect God and Savior. Even though we may be saved, we are still living in a broken world and dealing with the sins of others and ourselves. There are imperfect, hurting people in our lives every day that desperately need to hear some good news and hope that can only be found in Christ. May we be those broken hands and feet to walk with them and show what perfect love can be.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Yours in Christ,