So…something I’m realizing? We can never be perfect. I know, it’s kind of a “duh” thing, but it’s one of those “duh” things that has to sink in before it’s really and truly “duh.” (It’s late and I smell like a flower and one of my contact lenses is flipping out – literally – so pardon my rambling, s’il vous plaît). There are several very long discussions that could be had on this subject. But the particular thing that made me say this now, tonight, won’t take too long.
I am a perfectionist in many aspects. Not in all, but in many. When I’m running, I compete against myself. When I’m doing schoolwork, in my mind I am my biggest competition. I keep trying to beat myself, which if you’ve tried you know is impossible. But there are also times when I, whether intentionally or not, compete with other people.
Everyone has a need to be liked, accepted, and approved of. And no matter how high my self-esteem is and no matter how confident and sure of who I am and sure of Christ’s love and mercy for me I am, I still have that. People, including me, will do insane things like dye hair and shave eyebrows to fit in. But…I don’t know if it’s just a need to be liked. I think it’s a need to be what the world and people and society see as perfect…even what the church sees as perfect, and what we think God sees as perfect. We start trying so hard that we kind of forget the point.
Because the fact is, it’s not about us. It’s not about me. The world will not end if someone doesn’t like me. Do you like everyone YOU meet? My guess is no. How, then, can we expect every single person we come into contact with to approve of us? And what the freaking heck does it matter, if I may ask? Why do we care so much?
I suck. I am a sinner of the worst kind and I do and think horrible things every day of my life. I’m human; and that’s not an excuse, but a confession. I am human and I suck. But God, who is the total polar opposite of both human and suckiness, loves me, forgives me, accepts me, and pursues me. If that’s not enough for me, I don’t know what is. What do I care if not everyone likes me? I don’t like everyone. If everyone liked everyone, it would be like a really creepy version of the Smurfs. It’s a simple, insignificant, minor fact of life.
So I hope this encourages you a little bit. You don’t have to settle for anything at all. You don’t have to feel unloved. You don’t have to feel like you don’t belong anywhere, because the actual, literal, non-figurative creator of the universe and whatever else is hanging around out there, is so freaking in love with you…SO in love with you. A breathtaking, breath stopping, heart breaking, wonderful, ends of the earth kind of love. If five people don’t like me, I’ll survive.
And I will never be perfect; not in God’s eyes, not in anyone’s eyes, and definitely not actually. That doesn’t mean I stop trying to do and be the best I can; it means that I stop focusing on myself, my flaws, my problems, and focus on Jesus. Because He’s the one that made it possible at all for me to even be here, to even see what I really am, and He’s the only only ONLY one who can scrub me clean from the inside out.
As a fringe benefit…life is so much less stressful when you’re not constantly worrying about what everyone thinks about you. You know what HE thinks about you…and nothing else really matters. His love is not fickle, conditional, temporary, superficial, or deceiving.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-13, NIV