Perfection is Not Required

I found a lie last week.

I often discover lies during lightbulb moments. Apparently, adulthood is full of ‘em. You know, those moments when you really understand something for the first time, even though you’ve known it your entire life?  I’ve had lightbulb moments like crazy and I’d like to share one of them with y’all. What was my lightbulb? Weeeeell….

*Pause for dramatic effect*

*Pause for a more dramatic effect*

*Pause for melodramatic effect*

I realized I don’t have to be perfect for God to use me for his glory.

*Mind blown*

I know, it’s obvious.  For those who grew up in Christian circles, this is part of the basics. This is a truth Christians just know.

I am a follower of God. I know God uses flawed people. Why did it take so long for me to grasp it?

I have no idea. Perhaps I was desensitized to the impact of this truth. I grew up in a Christian atmosphere. I was practically born “Christian.”  I had a Christian family, Christian friends, and the church all incorporated into my life. There is nothing wrong with growing up in a home that follows Jesus or having friends who grew up in the same atmosphere; however, there are unique dangers associated with this lifestyle.

Growing up in such a gospel-saturated environment is like being a janitor in the Louvre.* If you worked in the Louvre every day, you would pass legendary paintings and statues like the Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory of Samothrace on a regular basis.  After a while, they fade into the background; they become mundane and lose their awe. The paintings and sculptures have not changed. You just see them so often they lose their impact. The same goes for Biblical truths. I was taught these truths on a regular basis, so they lost their color and wonder. Maybe that’s why I didn’t understand God’s purpose for the imperfect.

It’s possible I have always had this issue. Maybe my need to reach perfection before serving others was weaving itself into my life so subtly I didn’t realize the new threads where there.

I do not know how it was born. But now I’m hearing this lie EVERYWHERE in my life.

You need to work harder at reading the Bible. How are you going to encourage others if you don’t read the Bible every day? You need to work on meditating and memorizing God’s Word, too. How can you expect to help anyone without more progress in that area? How can you call yourself a follower of God?

Gosh, Gabby, work on your people skills! You’re so awkward. What makes you think you can make friends if you can’t manage a proper conversation? And all that stuttering and muttering? Speak up! Where’s your confidence? How are you going to help anyone with that tongue? Gotta work on that one. Gotta get better.

All these doubts are children of the lie of perfection. They have been strangling me, and I didn’t even know the noose was there.

But for every lie a truth must exist. This truth is simple. I DON’T have to be perfect for God to use me.

Whaaaaat.

I know, right? Amazing.

God knows I will never be completely adept at anything. I won’t always be consistent in Bible study. I will never be 100% confident around everyone. That’s just how being human works. And God has understood human nature for thousands of years. Just think about it. Hundreds of people are mentioned in the Bible. Yet, only one was perfect, and he was God incarnate. If God used flawed humans throughout the Bible,  why believe God has suddenly changed the standard?

God can use my limited abilities for his glory. It just takes surrender, really. I can continue to work hard at improving and learning, not because I’m working toward an unrealistic goal, but because I desire to know and serve the God who’s given me freedom through unconditional love.

*Bows* those deep thoughts were all free of charge, ladies and gentlemen. I’ll be here all week.

Anyway, that’s life for you. The struggle is real.

Keep fighting.

-Gabrielle Pollack (A. K. A.

The Great Rising Puzzlement)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed  by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

-Romans 12: 1-2, NIV

P.S. Happy late Thanksgiving, everyone!

*Disclaimer: I’ve got no idea what it’s like to work at the Louvre. It’s metaphorical. Don’t take it too seriously.


 

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