AMH Series // His Word is Written Across My Heart
You miss the winning goal. Failure.
You need an A- on your test to keep your current GPA, but you get a B+. Failure.
You starve yourself all week to fit into that dress you bought, but it doesn’t look like it did on the model. Failure.
You tell yourself you won’t read the erotic fan fiction again, but you do. Failure.
We fail a lot. In fact, you could say it’s human nature to fail and to do so frequently. In your life you will fail in little ways, like forgetting the cooking pasta and returning to find it mush, and you fail in big ways, like when you sin against God. You know everyone fails, but most of the time, when you fall short you don’t comfort yourself with this knowledge. Instead you look at everyone else and convince yourself they have it more together than you do. They are, whoever “they are”, better looking, a better student, a better Christian. They don’t struggle the same way you do with their weight, their time, their secret sin. They are just flat out better at life.
“Perfect” but Conflicted
Deep down you know this can’t all be true. You know it’s lies, lies, lies. But, it’s hard to believe that. You know yourself better than anyone else. You see your lack and know intimately how you don’t measure up.
Our culture views your failures as a means to an end, nothing more than a stepping stone to greatness. It’s not really failure if you’ve learned something from it, right? The feelings of inadequacy which accompany failure culture brushes aside with the clever little quip, “You are perfect just the way you are.”
Something about that seems fishy though….
How can you fail and be perfect at the same time? It’s a sweet sentiment, but that’s all it is – an empty truth that doesn’t deliver any lasting confidence and only makes you feel better for about five minutes. If it were true, then you’d be a perfect failure. Which either makes you a walking contradiction or a master of failing, depending on how you interpret it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be either of those.
The truth is you are not perfect just the way you are. Deep down you know this and no clever, catchy saying will convince you otherwise.
Not Perfect but It Will Be Okay
You are not perfect, and it’s okay to be okay with that. The same world that tells you that you’re perfect just the way you are is the world that creates the lofty standards you fail to achieve. It’s quite the double standard, but not surprising. When it comes to the world’s confusing standards, it’s okay if you fall short.
We read in Ecclesiastes 1:3-4 “You spend your life working, laboring, and what do you have to show for it? Generations come and generations go, but the world stays just the same.” Solomon isn’t trying to be a drag…well maybe he is…but regardless, his intention isn’t to just be depressing but to show us the futility of getting caught up in chasing after what the world wants. Perfect body, perfect job, perfect performance, perfect GPA, perfect Instagram, perfect game, none of it matters in the scheme of eternity so stop beating yourself up about it. You are not perfect, and it will be okay.
Now let’s get to the good stuff. The real reason you aren’t perfect just the way you are has nothing to do with your dress size or GPA. It’s your sin nature. God created this world good, but we rebelled back in the Garden and because of that you were born into a fallen world plagued by sin. Sin is never okay. It’s not okay in you. It’s not okay in someone else. It’s not okay anywhere!
Not Perfect but Provided For
It may seem hopeless, like why even try? I’m a sinner, I can’t be perfect! Or depending on your personality it may be tempting to embrace your imperfections and flaunt them with faux confidence. At least everyone else will be fooled by the outside even if you are still left feeling just as inadequate on the inside, right?
Take heart! Our God is NEVER hopeless. You know what He has to say about your imperfections and weaknesses? In 1 Corinthians 12:9 (AMP) God speaks directly to Paul about them: “He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you [My loving kindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.’ Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.”
I want you to go back and re-read that passage, but read it like God is speaking to you rather than Paul. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Isn’t that beautiful! God acknowledges the fact that you aren’t perfect, but He doesn’t leave you dwelling on your imperfections. God doesn’t ridicule you or tell you that you’re a failure. He gives you hope. His grace is sufficient. He is enough even when you aren’t.
He is there and is MORE glorified when you are depending on Him. Whether it’s to resist lust, have a healthy body image, worry less, whatever the area you are most prone to failure, He wants to help you overcome. He also wants to be the One you run to when you fail. His grace will cover it.
Not Perfect Now…
I think God is better at giving us grace than we are at giving it to ourselves. Would you agree? Grace came at a weighty price. Jesus had to die for the grace we receive. Use it. Use it to motivate change in your life. Use it to ruthlessly uproot sin. Use it to forgive others, and use it to forgive yourself when you fall short. Grace isn’t a lofty religious concept meant only for pastors to preach about. It is meant to be lived into. So live your life like you have received grace!
Back in the Garden of Eden, we were made perfect. Maybe that’s why we strive so hard to be perfect now, and why it hurts knowing we won’t be this side of heaven. We changed, but God didn’t. The same God that desired relationship with Adam and Eve in the Garden is still pursuing you today, failures and all, and someday He will make you perfect. Heaven is coming. <3