2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness ” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
It used to be only commercials, magazines, movie stars and the occasional neighbor that made us take a look at our lives and wonder why we couldn’t harness the same perfection that seemingly oozes from their pores.
Now we have social media, and anyone can create the illusion that their life is that amazing. A friend posted about a trip they were planning, and I thought to myself, “Isn’t that their third vacation this year?” It instantly made me revert to the memory of us taking our six kids on vacation a few years back. Our destination was an amusement park in Ohio. We stopped for breakfast and to our horror, the lady from the Waffle House apparently was so proud of the waffle she had just made that she patted it before turning to us and serving it. When we checked into our hotel the night before and headed to our rooms, we walked through tumble weeds of dirt, dust, and debris in the hallway and were greeted with forgotten medication on the floor next to our bed from the previous occupants. Yeah, none of that went on Facebook.
I can’t figure out how people have this much money and time to have so much fun. I feel like I’m dredging along through my work day, running kids to their activities, pretending the dinners I serve on the fly actually do have some nutritional value, and collapsing to watch TV when I should be sleeping because I desperately need some mind numbing time to myself. My beautifully puckered lips or perfect hair day never lands on my social media because frankly, those moments never exist for me. I did post a video of my guinea pig in the pocket of my sweatshirt eating his carrot. I don’t think too many people viewed that post and thought, “Man I wish my life could be like hers,” though.
The thing is, my life is perfect. It’s not perfectly polished without hair-blowing moments or untarnished days, but it’s made perfect through my Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus isn’t asking us to be like our neighbor. He is asking us to be like Him and love our neighbor.
I can celebrate with my friend for going on her fifth vacation in six months because Jesus saved me. I can look at pictures of someone’s freshly installed new wood floors as I scrub the contents of my cats sensitive stomach staining my carpet for the hundredth time because Jesus’ perfection isn’t defined by my flooring. I can walk through a house that has so many stories it reminds me of a wedding cake as I lie my head on my pillow in my small ranch because Jesus says one day, I will be in His house. Jesus doesn’t care about the bow we try to put on our lives to make us look perfect. He only cares about our willingness to humble ourselves and admit that we aren’t perfect by asking for His perfection to cover us. When we see glimmering and shining lives, He sees the real us with our real hurts and issues and no matter how much we cover them, He is there to love us through them.
Perfection is the opposite of what Christ asks us to be. It’s no surprise to Him that we carry dings and bruises, yet how many people avoid church, decide against praying, or won’t talk to that Christian because they feel they are supposed to be “perfect” in order to belong. I remember after falling away from God for a while, I desperately wanted to come back to Him but felt He wouldn’t want me mucking up His church with the sin dripping from my body. I remember during this time period avoiding my Christian friends because I didn’t want to feel their judgmental stares. My life had become a Pinterest fail, and I morphed into Eve hiding in the Garden pretending God couldn’t see me and believing my friends wouldn’t want me. Silly girl.
The enemy uses so many devices, and His greatest weapon is our own desire to be perfect. When we fall from the bar we set for ourselves, he is right there letting us know we will always fall short and God can’t stand losers and failures. He tries to convince us that our unworthiness is now a branded letter on our foreheads and all of the good people can see us coming for miles and miles. We view ourselves as damaged goods and need to be returned to the manufacturer.
The truth is we are all damaged goods. Our DNA was damaged the second the fall occurred and yes, we do need to be returned. We need to have a “return to sender” stamped on us because He is the only one who can fix us! We need to voluntarily put ourselves in that cart behind the counter of Wal-Mart labeled “damaged” because we will be wheeled back to our manufacturer, and we should be grabbing all of the other damaged customers to take along with us. Basically, that would be the whole store but by His supernatural power, we will all fit in the same cart. Some will jump in with us, but some will prefer we just wheel on by them.
The next time the fiery dart of envy tries to aim at your heart just remember, we are made perfect in Christ, and it’s only with Him we should be mirroring our comparison. Our perfection has nothing to do with the beach pictures or perfectly prepared meals we could never fix. I own that my life is a Pinterest fail. That’s what makes me His.