Sometimes I feel like I have to be perfect.
I know, I know.
It’s impossible; it’s irrational; it’s silly and rather “un-Christian.”
But, if we are being real here, I want to do everything, be everywhere, say anything, and do it perfectly.
Every move. Every word. Every plan. Everything.
I hope I’m not the only one.
Let’s go back, like two thousand years.
Back in the days of old, the days of realllllyyyy old, before Jesus came, the people had the Law over them. This Law was first given to Moses, by God, and was composed of the Ten Commandments. However, over time, there were man-made “additions” to this law.. in the sense of:
“Okay, God says to remember the Sabbath day.”
“Well… what does ‘remember’ fully entail?”
“We should put some restrictions, guidelines, if you will, on top of the commandment to really be sure to keep the Law.”
So, people put a bunch of tiny and binding rules on top of the Law. And they were really hard to keep. Strenuous on mind and body and soul.
You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this.. this is it:
My sister, in the days of old, before Jesus came, people also felt like they had to be perfect.
They felt like they had to live up to a standard of perfection in everything. Even down to the smallest detail.
But here’s the thing.
Then, our sweet Jesus came.
And things changed.
I was reading through Galatians this week. It’s effortlessly a book that will knock the socks off of your tired and weary feet if you let it.
Here’s a line, (thank you Paul for articulating this) that explains it all:
“Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised.” Galatians 3:19 NLT
Even the law wasn’t given to hold people to a standard of perfection.
It was given to show us that we can never be perfect.
No amount of striving. No amount of trying. No amount of blood, sweat, and tears by the effort of flesh.
We are imperfect people with a crimson-stained soul, and that stain ain’t coming out with anything from this world.
It’s like chasing the wind. You can’t grab something that isn’t even in reach.
My friend, lift your eyes and your heart.
Hear me, you are not perfect, by any means, and that’s what makes grace so beautiful.
Yes, my short-comings are real.
Yes, my failures are real.
Yes, my imperfections are real.
And yes, hallelujah, so is grace.
Don’t fall into the flawed thinking that you have to be perfect… especially the flawed thinking that as a Christian you must be perfect.
That’s straight-up contradictory to the entire essence of the Gospel.
With fresh ears, listen to this good news:
Our sweet Jesus came down from Heaven, lived a life here, in the dirt and chaos and heat of this world, and he did it perfectly. Jesus Christ did what we never could… his heart and his hands never sinned.
And then, my friend, he went to the cross, and he died the death that I should’ve and could’ve died. Because, yes, that’s what my sins get me. Death. Even death by cross.
But hallelujah that Jesus Christ was perfect, so even though he didn’t have to face that death, he did. For me. Because I could never be perfect.. my heart was stained crimson.
And man, I hope you rejoice over this; Jesus did not stay in that tomb, but through the power of God he was raised up to life, raised up to the heavens where our Home is.
And girl, he’s taking us with him.
Yep- He died our death, and He’s victor of our victory.
He took our thorns and cross, and He’s givin’ us the riches.
His death was not for nothing.
Please, with your eyes fixed on the cross, realize that you are not perfect.
And that grace is so beautiful.
The yoke and burden of perfection ended the day Jesus Christ rose from the grave.
Sister, don’t submit again to that yoke.
You are free.
For freedom, Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1)
You are free to be imperfect.
You are free to let grace wash over your every breath, your every move.
You are free to live with no shackles, no chains, a light burden and easy yoke of Jesus.
You are free to praise God and let Him transform you into the very image of His son.
You are free, my sister.
If you believe in the Gospel, then here’s something: Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell inside your heart. And how wonderful is this- the Holy Spirit will, moment by moment, make you more like Jesus. And in the moments of messing up, failing, backsliding, and whatever else… Jesus’ blood and righteousness covers us. He died for our mistakes, and His perfection is now ours in the eyes of God.
Just keep seeking God’s own heart.
It’s going to be so messy, so reckless and so crazy.
But, my sister, grace is so real.
God wants you.
Run fast and hard. Keep your eyes locked on your sweet Jesus. Remind yourself of grace.
It’s beautiful and real. And so are you.
With much, much love. And a freedom ringing in my heart. –Melissa
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