The Image of Perfection

I’ve blown the dust off of something old for you today, but I think you’ll find that the topic is still as new as it ever was…

Awhile back I made my favorite raspberry & cream bread for a precious friend. It turned out great… well, mostly.

I did make one mistake. I didn’t spray the pan.

In my defense, it IS a Pampered Chef Stone pan and you’re not supposed to have to spray them. In fact, they specifically advise you not to. However, in this case I didn’t grease the pan and after it came out of the oven and cooled I ran a knife carefully around the edges, flipped the pan, tapped the bottom and out popped my bread… well, most of it.

The bottom layer stuck mercilessly and left my beautiful loaf beat up and exposed.

I thoughtfully examined the bread trying to decide if I should start over. Delicately, I turned it top side up and from this angle it appeared nothing short of perfect. So, I wrapped it up and delivered it to my friend knowing that even if she discovered its broken shame concealed underneath, she probably wouldn’t care one bit.

This got me to thinking about us… us women especially.

We are a lot like that loaf bread.

We have a cleaned up, put-together outer image that often fools people into concluding that we’re faultless. Now, I’m not saying we’re “trying” to fool people because that is absolutely not what’s going on. We girls just like to feel “together,” so we go to some trouble to make sure we look “together.”

But, sadly we also get an instant eyeful of each other at our very best and assume that everything is just perfect inside and out.

But it’s not, is it?

And if we get close enough we soon find, just like that bread, hidden underneath a protective masquerade is every girls very own brokenness and shame. Her not-so-perfect-ness and vulnerable insides are unveiled.

These are false and very destructive assumptions.

You know that right after determining that someone has got it all together we do the worst things…

We compare.

We get green-eyed.

We condemn ourselves.

We resent.

We suddenly strive for someone else’s perceived perfection and we get lost.

Oh, friends and the hard truth is that when we do this an automatic shift takes place. Suddenly, we lose sight of how God instructs us to look and that has nothing to do with what’s on the outside.

The bible reminds us…

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

(1 Samuel 16:17 NIV)

If God is not looking at our appearance then why do we?

If God is only concerned about the condition of our hearts then why aren’t we?

You know what gets dealt with when we focus on our heart?

Our broken-ness. Our shame. Our healing. Our understanding of His ways.

The real stuff.

The things that really need attention. The very things that cause us to have an image that attempts to cover it all up.

Let’s be challenged together. To compare ourselves with the only measuring stick that counts: Jesus. To live by His standards. His ways.

He is the only image of perfection worth striving for. Holy. Matchless. Faithful. Lover of our souls. Our Savior.

Honestly, why would we want anything else?

 

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10 Responses

04.09.12

Love this, Heidi! We shouldn’t measure ourselves up to other people. We should simply strive to be what God wants us to be.
Jenifer recently posted..Easter BlessingsMy Profile

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I must admit I’ve struggled recently with comparisons more than perhaps at any other time in my life. I think I’ve “conquered” an area only to realize how desperately needy I truly am for God’s mercy and grace. There is no comparison to Him!
Shannon Milholland recently posted..Stored Up in His HeartMy Profile

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04.09.12

This is a great! It’s always good to remind ourselves what’s on the inside matters most;)

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04.09.12

Awesome post thanks for sharing so true

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Great post! I have often graded myself on a curve. I have felt worse about myself when I saw others that appeared to have it all together and vice versa. Our value is in Him alone! If I can get so lost in His presence that the opinions of others diminish then I am in the right place. Thanks for sharing!
BelovedBomber recently posted..PurposeMy Profile

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04.09.12

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I need to remind myself of this on a regular basis. Thank you for reminding me again, Heidi, of what’s truly important.
Eileen recently posted..I Don’t Want To Serve TimeMy Profile

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What a wonderful post! Oh, I can so relate. Even though I have improved considerably, I still evaluate and compare myself with others. Mainly coming out on the bottom. But, I am getting better! My self worth is improving!

I am so grateful that my Heavenly Daddy sees me out on top!!

Blessings to you Heidi and thank you for your nice comment on my blog.

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04.09.12

I do remember being embarrassed when people found out I wasn’t perfect! LOL I try to accept myself more nowadays. Great post.

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04.09.12

Wow…these two questions really pricked my heart:

“If God is not looking at our appearance then why do we?
If God is only concerned about the condition of our hearts then why aren’t we?”

Too often my focus wanders…help me, Lord!
Karen recently posted..The Bridegroom WaitsMy Profile

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04.09.12

Thanks for this wonderful post Heidi! And I really appreciate that you have shared some Biblical words here.
We should put and offer everything we do to God. He is the only one who can help us when no one is there to give their helping hand.
Karyn18 recently posted..Distributing personal trainer marketing tasksMy Profile

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