One of the things I’ve found I love about doing a series like this is learning new things about whatever is the focal point. Both in this series and the one focused on hope, I set out with a few ideas of things I’ve been shown that I feel compelled to share. However, the greatest joy comes in walking into each day with open eyes. Some days, God blows me away with a new ways of looking at the topic. Today is one of those days.
So far, most of the posts in some way have danced around the idea of accepting our imperfection… of being okay with it… of living in it so that we might live also in God’s grace. Today, though, God’s convicted me of an imperfection He never wants me to be okay with… one I struggle with a lot: the FAKE imperfection we imagine and create through comparison.
From the time we are kids, our sinful nature tells us to compare people:
Look at that guy, he’s so weak! Why’d coach even let him on the team?!?
You better work harder if you’re going to get good grades like your sister!
Why can’t you be more like Jack? He gets his projects in to his boss earlier.
Even worse, in my opinion, is the comparison that takes place in our own minds:
I’m better than her because I have 48 crayons and she only has 24.
Hannah wears a size 3 and I wear a 13.
I wish my house was always clean like Jill’s.
Whether the comparison is put upon us by others or ourselves, it’s all around us and it creates a sense of imperfection. The other imperfection we’ve talked about in the blog has been true imperfection, times when we sin… when we don’t live up to GOD’S standards for our lives. That is true imperfection for which God said, “I’m perfect, I’ll step in and make you perfect again. However, not living up to our standards or the standards of people around us creates a false sense of imperfection that is harder for our souls to battle with.
I’ve found that when I’m simply living in the gifts, talents, passions, and experiences God’s given me, I feel complete… I feel whole. I feel anything BUT imperfect. Only when I begin comparing myself to others or seeking their approval do I start dwelling in imperfection. That’s because we weren’t created to be able to do what Jack, Hannah, and Jill were created to do. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. It seems that a great deal of anxiety, stress, pain and hurt could be avoided if we’d just remember this truth:
We’ve been created perfect by a perfect God. He loves and accepts us just as we are and expects nothing more, nothing less, nothing else
Chris Seay, author of A Place at the Table, says it this way in his book:
The Scriptures declare that my value comes from my Creator, not my love of self or accomplishments. … when our actions are motivated by this truth, we can finally breathe. Can you imagine a life without the continual comparison to one another?
I know it’s difficult to imagine that kind of life, but I challenge myself, and all of you, to just dream for a minute… and then do it… breathe… give up false imperfection… give up comparison. Remember, you are created in God’s perfection and deeply loved JUST AS YOU ARE! Now if that doesn’t bring a smile to your face, I don’t know what will.