It’s been a long and fruitless pursuit, but I’m finally getting free. Oh how wonderful it is to live a life without an impossible standard!
Often I feel like I’m the only one. The only person in the world who believes that perfection is attainable. I see every magazine and every internet photo and believe that these women have flawless skin. I have heard of Adobe Photoshop, but some part of me thinks that there are real people out there that look like these manipulated images. I then see everything I have that they don’t (or has been airbrushed away).
As a pre-teen, I experienced acne in all its glory. It became the only thing I saw when I looked at the mirror. It probably wasn’t as prominent as I believed, but I was very self-conscious. That was the real problem. Self. My focus was entirely on myself. Now, most pre-teens will struggle with self-consciousness—it’s a normal part of human development. In my thirties, however, I’m being set free. I’ve been given the secret!
Would you like to hear it? Are you tired of the up-and-down diet, beauty routine, next “new” thing that makes you feel great and then you fail? How many times are we searching for the wrong kind of success?
(whisper) It’s not about us. It never has been. It never will be.
You aren’t expected to be perfect, but rather to focus on the Only One who ever has been, can be, and will be. That is why His love is perfect. He created us in His image to bring glory to Him. Our failing, fading bodies can retain a flawed form of perfection longer if we make certain choices, but ultimately, it is our very spirit and soul that needs perfecting the most.
The most beautiful women I meet have often sacrificed perfection outwardly for greater forms of beauty. Childbearing is difficult, uncomfortable, and will forever cause changes to your body. But, at 65, how much of a difference does it make in your swimsuit? Your grandchildren will find you to be the most beautiful grandma they’ve ever seen! I’ve probably wrestled with that one the most. My body seemed to bounce back after the first two just fine, but the third one? I still have a “baby bump” (and I love Jennifer Garner for her comments on hers!)
If we keep looking at ourselves and are “self” conscious, we will see the others around us and our flaws in comparison. What about what we don’t see? How about the 99 “imperfect” selfies that didn’t go on Instagram, or the fight just before church that the “perfect” couple had? We see “perfect” moms with “perfect” kids, but perhaps at home, it’s a different story. All of us on our own are unable to be perfect. (Romans 3:23)
If we lift our eyes instead to the “author and perfecter of our faith”(Hebrews 12:2), we will begin to see ourselves in His sight instead. We are redeemed, a new creation, a son or daughter of the Most High King.
Lysa Terkeurst, in reference to her book “The Best Yes” said, “Pretending encourages others to chase perfection. And it’s just all so very exhausting. Girls, let’s give each other the gift of transparency and grace as we pursue Jesus.”
I cannot agree more. Even Paul, author of more books in the New Testament than anyone else, boasts about his weaknesses, because “when we are weak, then He is strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
God wants to use imperfect people to do amazing things, because then He will get the deserved credit and others will be drawn to Him, and it won’t put pressure on us to perform. We will simply be an instrument making beautiful music in the hands of a Master. The most beautiful songs will be sounded through us—though not of our own doing—and the sound will be marvelous indeed, without a mistake… perfect.