Do you ever feel like – as a Christ-follower – there are expectations for you to be perfect in all you do and all you say?
That’s a lot of pressure. And it’s a demonic set-up for failure. This quote from an unknown author offers the perfect response. It reads:
When I say that “I am a Christian,”
- I am not shouting that “I am clean living.” I’m whispering “I was lost, but now I’m found and forgiven.”
- I don’t speak of this with pride. I’m confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.
- I’m not trying to be strong. I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.
- I’m not bragging of success. I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.
- I’m not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.
- I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.
- I’m not holier than thou, I’m just a simple sinner who received God’s good grace, somehow!
Because others know I am a Christ-follower, I’m watched. Others look to see how I handle life’s problems. They watch how I respond when I get hurt. I’m under scrutiny with how I act and things I speak.
You are, too.
You see, the world is always watching us try to live out our faith… perfectly. Sometimes it seems they are just waiting for us to fail. And when we do, they are quick to point the finger. They use our mistakes as proof positive that Christianity is for the birds.
This response is expected from the world… but it gets worse.
As Christians, we tend to hold each other to that same standard of perfection. We have little tolerance for mess-ups in the body of Christ. And when we do fall short, we are hung out to dry. Sometimes, others smile and nod when we fail.
Even among other Christ-followers, we are expected to be perfect and act without reproach.
Why is that? I mean, Jesus certainly didn’t model that expectation for us to follow. He was well aware of our sin habit and so He fixed that pressure of perfection once and for all by giving His life.
I think we all need a big dose of grace.
- Grace when others fall.
- Grace when expectations of perfection aren’t met.
- Grace for ourselves when we miss the mark.
Thanks to Jesus Christ, we have it. So now, it’s our responsibility to give it.
Sisters, God isn’t expecting us to perfect. He’s expecting us to be pliable.
- He loves us when we are lost.
- He loves us when we mess up.
- He loves us when we feel weak.
- He loves us when we fail.
- He loves us when we are flawed.
- He loves us when we hurt.
While the world has great expectations of perfection, God has none. Of course He loves us too much to leave us where we are. And because of that, God continues to offer learning opportunities for us to become more Christ-like.
But, He knows we will never be perfect this side of Heaven.
Maybe we should follow His lead… and cut each other a break.