If you had to tally up how many times this week–or last month, last year, or over the course of your life–that you have not measured up, how great do you think the number would be? For me? Huge, my friend! I’ve made some pretty stupid decisions, whether in the moment or planned out in advance. I fail miserably pretty much daily. [Maybe you can relate?] Then I see those perfect people. You know the ones; those with perfect bodies, perfect hair, perfect wardrobes, perfect children, perfect homes, perfect homeschool, perfect quiet times, perfect jobs, and perfect husbands. Ya’ll, I am so stinkin’ sick of perfect because perfect…it doesn’t exist!
So often we hide behind perfect, or rather the image of perfect, because we feel safe there. If we stay there, no one sees us for the truly screwed-up people we are. In a way, it keeps us safe. But when I try to measure up to perfect, I fail even more miserably.
Can we stop pretending to be perfect and just be real?
If you stop by my house on any given day, I’ll likely be sporting my athletic shorts and t-shirt, almost certainly mismatched. My hair would be pulled back in a ponytail or better yet a messy bun, oh, and no makeup. Depending on the time of day, toys may be scattered around, and pillows and blankets may cover my living room floor.
Can I share with you what I struggle with most of all? I continually fail at living a godly example in front of my kids. I get so angry at them, and I lose my cool, even throwing hissy fits and such. With the regular demand of motherhood and homeschool and just plain old homemaking, I stay worn out and frazzled. Instead of leading my kids to Christ, I hate to admit that I often lead them away from Him because my attitude and words do not show them His love.
Just today, I got very angry at my 6-year-old. She really was in the wrong, but when I shouted at her and watched her cower from me, I knew I had failed yet again. I didn’t physically strike her, but my angry tone struck her little heart. Partly, I feel like I shouted at her because she was in the wrong, but just as much because she had interrupted what I was doing and caused discord with her siblings. I simply didn’t want to be bothered.
I’m failing, but He’s continually unwrapping
While I hate that I continually fail in this area, I also know that by being convicted of my sin, that God is steadily chipping away, taking off those old dead clothes.
Remember Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, who died before Jesus could get to him to heal him? They buried him, and Jesus came four days late. But that didn’t stop Jesus; He commanded that Lazarus come out of the tomb. When Lazarus did, the grave clothes had to be taken off to unbind him because he had been dead, prepared for burial, and laid in a tomb (John 11). That’s what Jesus does for us when He calls us from death unto life; He steadily is taking off the dead clothes, the baggage, the unholy.
That encourages me! If I had it all together all the time, what need would I have for a Savior? Would I ever look to Him? Would I care if others saw Him? I’m pretty sure the answer would be no. But I do need Him because I’m not perfect. I’ll always need His guiding hand and loving embrace and stern discipline. I’m thankful for imperfect and that’s why I’ll never care about being perfect again!
Even She’s not perfect.
Even that well dressed, well poised, seemingly perfect lady you look at from a distance, knowing she must be the most perfect person you kinda know fails. She’s not perfect.
Be real, not perfect
I just love how the Skin Horse says it in The Velveteen Rabbit: