Perfectly Imperfect

I have to admit it.  I am a recovering perfectionist.

Notice the interesting word choice when it comes to people having such problems.

Recovering.  Not recovered.

Satan often accuses my perfectionistic mind and tricks me into thinking that I should be reaching for some state of perfection in my Christian walk.  I become disillusioned and start thinking, “One of these days I will get it right, and then I can just maintain this for the rest of my life”.

I forget that human perfectionism makes little of the Cross.  I forget that God was always meant to be approached on the basis of grace and never on the basis of merit (Billy Graham).

And plus, trying to be perfect is just not all it’s cracked up to be!  American writer and psychologist Harriet Brakier said, “Striving for excellence is motivating; striving for perfection is demoralizing”.

Striving to be perfect is not God’s command for us (thank you Jesus!).  As I reach for perfection, it puts the focus on me rather than God’s power to work in me.  Trying to be a perfectly-perfect Christian, the more weary and hopeless I become and the less I cling to my faith and the power of God’s strength made perfect in my weakness.

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong”  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

God doesn’t love us because we are perfect.

He loves us perfectly.

One of my favorite, hang-on-the-fridge-worthy inspirations comes from Martin Luther.  I hope you are blessed.

This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness;

not health but healing;

not being but becoming;

not rest but exercise. 

We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it. 

The process is not finished, but it is going on. 

This is not the end, but it is the road. 

All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified. 

So are we off the hook?  No, we are to love God so much that we want to be obedient.

“For this is love of God, that we obey his commandments” (1 John 5:3)

And the minute we take one step of obedience, God opens up opportunities for new life.

And when we mess up, as we will, we are to confess, repent, and turn to different behavior.

And in this process, God purifies us and blesses us.

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered”  (Psalm 32)

Glorifying God with you,

Erin

 

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3 Responses

06.24.12

I love the photo and yes the enemy lies to us all the time we just have to use what Jesus has given us so we can beat him at his own game
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06.24.12

I think what happens (at least to me) is when were not perfect in a way we think we should we begin to question if we’re really His… we put so much pressure on our selves… condemn ourselves and your right WE come clearly into full focus and God fades out in the back ground. We lose sight of us still being sinners and Him being the Savior… all the mercy all the grace that goes with that is forgotten. I love this…

“Trying to be a perfectly-perfect Christian, the more weary and hopeless I become and the less I cling to my faith and the power of God’s strength made perfect in my weakness.”

So true… so we may rejoice in our weaknesses just like Paul because God is heavily at work in them! Great post!

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06.24.12

Seemingly, our imperfections make us the perfect instrument God can use. We are like the disciples, always falling short but Jesus using them in spite of their messes. I too fight against perfectionism, it’s exhausting isn’t it? It is a relief knowing God doesn’t expect that, He knows it’s unattainable for us, hence the cross. Your so right our striving for perfection belittles Jesus’ Calvary love. Great post my friend!!!

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