You know how sometimes God seems to put a certain word or sermon or theme in front of you? I’ve learned that when this happens, I should really be paying attention. Most often, God is trying to teach me a lesson. This week, it’s been the word “perfect”.
My niece is getting married this weekend. As I stood in the store, looking over the flowers we were picking up, my sister was in absolute knots. “I just want it to be perfect for her!” she exclaimed. She was crestfallen when I assured her that, in fact, in wouldn’t be. It will be beautiful, but in all probability we will miss the mark of perfection.
Yesterday, I had another, completely different discussion about perfection. This time, the topic at hand was the grandson of a sweet co-worker. A couple short hours after he was born, the doctor had to break the news to the parents that their new bundle of joy had a birth defect. At the ripe old age of two, that little guy has just gone through his fourth surgery (successfully, I might add.)! He is delayed in most things and the stark truth is that they simply don’t know if he’ll ever catch up. However, when his grandmother talks about him, her face beams with love for that precious little boy. When his parents are questioned, they will assure any listener that he is a blessing, straight from the hand of God.
So often, in this crazy mixed-up world we live in, I see people trying to achieve perfection. Imperfect babies are killed. Defected adults are discarded. Landfills are full because our stuff is never good enough and we always want bigger and nicer. Families are destroyed when spouses look for something better. More money than I can imagine is spent in the beauty industry, in our quest for the perfect face, body, look. Discontentment becomes an easy tool for the enemy of our souls to use.
So, what does God say about perfection? Galatians 3:3 says, “How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” John 4:17 says, “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.” Psalm 18:32 says, “God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.” I never once see that God expects us to be perfect in our own strength. And I never see that God will judge us by our looks or smarts or possessions. Samuel 16:7 says, “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” There it is. Our hearts are what matters. The way we love is what God cares about. Jesus said, in John 13:35, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
I am terribly, horribly, chronically human, with flaws and imperfections and defects. But God. God makes the difference. He gives me the ability to love and live a life that will be pleasing to Him. With God, I am perfectly imperfect.
Be blessed and tell someone you love it.