Growing Not Perfecting

As I sit outside, I notice a weed invasion marching across the backyard. Shrubs and trees relax their roots as they recline across the deck’s chipped exterior. Branch-like arms stretch wildly over the white picket fence. All shapes, sizes, and colors… taking on the appearance of uneven chaos.
My eyebrows scrunch as I think, “The shrubs need to be cut back. They are so overgrown.” Their imperfections are desperately crying out for some good pruning shears to snap them back into shape.
I am struck at how quickly they’ve grown. When my husband and I planted years ago, we hoped for growth but never expected perfection. We didn’t get perfection either… and that’s okay.
Now as I gaze over the untidy plant-like mess in the yard, I am reminded of God’s love for us.
He loves even when our limbs need to be yanked back into action.
He loves even when we’re a little droopy and bent out of shape.
He loves even the most unruly messes.
God doesn’t want us wasting time striving for perfection, because he knows disappointment will forever be on the horizon. For God so loved us, despite our imperfection and our hopeless state of sin ~ that he sent his Son ~to live a life he knew we could never live.
The Message paraphrases 1 Corinthians 3:7 in this way:
“It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God’s field in which we are working.”
Just like the overgrown shrubs in the backyard, God doesn’t require a perfectly pruned exterior to make his creation look good. There is no room in His will for our faint-less efforts to be perfect in an imperfect world.
Why?
Jesus already took care of that.
That’s the beauty of the Gospel.
The goal has never been about perfection.

It’s about…our growth.

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7 Responses

07.05.11

First off, I have so missed the M.O.M.s!!! 🙂 Glad you are back from your vacas and hope you had a wonderful time!

Second, Kelli this post is wonderful! We do strive for perfection but we will never attain it. We can't. We were not made to be perfect. Love this: "just like the overgrown shrubs in the backyard, God doesn’t require a perfectly pruned exterior to make his creation look good. There is no room in His will for our faint-less efforts to be perfect in an imperfect world." Thank you for this wonderful post!

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Great to see you back! Love the truth in your post, especially: "The goal has never been about perfection. It’s about…our growth."
Be blessed,
Debbie

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07.05.11

It's so nice to have you back, Kelli! I'm glad that it's not about perfection, but about growth. God can take my mess and make something beautiful when I surrender all to Him.

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07.05.11

Welcome back ladies glad you made it back safe I know you have lots of stories I do hope you can share them with us.

The day when we as children of God learn to be more concern about growing instead of trying to be perfect we will be better off. Because in reality as long as we live on this earth we will never be perfect. Jesus tells us to strive to be but some take it a bit to far and think that they have arrived when none of have even come close.

We must go through the growth process

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Welcome back Kelli! I hope you had a wonderful vacation… You were both certainly missed here! 🙂

Wow, your backyard sounds like my yard on a GOOD day… lol

Thankfully, God knows we're flawed and imperfect, and loves us through our brokenness. What a wonderful and caring gardener He is!

Wonderful post!

Have a Blessed Day!

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07.05.11

Glad you're back! I'm glad I don't have to be perfect for Him to love me! Boy, I'd be in a heap of trouble 🙂

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07.05.11

I'll never grow weary of this encouragement! I'm constantly beating myself up for my imperfections and constantly in need of His pruning and the promise that He loves me anyway. Great post, that I needed to hear 🙂

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