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. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
It used to be only commercials, magazines, movie stars and the occasional neighbor that made us feel like a Pinterest fail. We looked at our lives and wondered why we couldn’t harness the same perfection that seemingly oozed from their pores.
Now we have social media, and anyone can create the illusion that their life is amazing. A friend posted about a trip they were planning, and I thought to myself “Isn’t that their third vacation this year?”
The memory of the last vacation we took our six kids a few years back popped into my head. Our destination was an amusement park in Ohio. We stopped for breakfast and to our horror, the waitress was apparently proud of the waffle she had just made because she patted it before serving it to us.
When we checked into our hotel and headed to our rooms, we walked through tumble weeds of dirt, dust, and debris in the hallway. Forgotten pills on the floor greeted us when we opened the door to our room, and the smell didn’t leave a good taste in your mouth. The beds scared me. Yeah, none of that went on Facebook.
I can’t figure out how people have so much money and time to go on multiple vacations, dress in designer clothes, and live in a house without going broke.
I feel like I’m dredging along through my work day, attempting not to blow our food budget on McDonald’s, traipsing 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 with no 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. Looking at pictures on Facebook of someone’s freshly installed wood floors as I scrub the contents of my cats sensitive stomach staining my carpet for the hundredth time doesn’t bother me. Jesus’ perfection isn’t defined by my flooring. I am able walk through a huge, immaculate 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.
After falling away from God for a while, I desperately wanted to come back to Him. I worried He wouldn’t want me mucking up His church from the sin dripping from my body. During this time I also avoided 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. I was 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 God can’t stand losers and failures. He tries to convince us that our unworthiness is branded on our foreheads. This allows all of the good people to see us coming for miles. We view ourselves as damaged goods and need to be returned to the manufacturer.
We are all damaged goods. Our DNA became damaged the second the fall occurred. This is why we need to be returned and reconciled in Jesus. We need to have a “return to sender” stamped on our foreheads because He is the only one who can fix us! We need to put ourselves in that cart behind the counter labeled damaged, so we can be sent home.
As we wheel to the back of the store, we should be grabing 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 into that same cart. Some will jump in with us, but some will prefer us to just wheel on by.
The next time the fiery dart of envy tries to aim at your heart just remember, we are perfect in Christ. It is 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.