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08 August

Letting Go of Perfect

After a crazy summer, I was looking forward to our perfect vacation. We’d rented a three room suite at a resort by Lake Superior. I was anticipating lazy beach days, exploring, and snuggly family time. Things didn’t go as planned.

Our suite had plumbing problems, so the owners “upgraded” us to their home. It was beautiful but also awkward and nerve wracking with two small children. Our four-year-old decided this was a great time to express how the summer’s lack of consistency had affected him. He turned into a raging, defiant, fit-throwing monster every time things didn’t go his way. It rained. A lot. So much for perfect.

Our ideals rarely come true. Perfect vacations. Perfect marriages. Perfect children. Perfect churches or ministry situations. It’s pretty obvious that we live in a world broken by sin.

We can drive ourselves crazy striving for perfection.

There is a lot of pressure on women in ministry to “have it together.” Both external pressure from other people’s expectations, and internal pressure from our own expectations. Outward performance can feel vitally important.

I went to a women’s retreat recently and one of the leaders had forgotten her suitcase at home. Instead of having cute outfits and matching accessories, she wore jeans and retreat t-shirts all weekend. She confessed this to us at a session and spoke honestly about how vulnerable it made her feel. How she was afraid we wouldn’t like her because she wasn’t “put together.” Maybe it was just me, but I liked her even better this way because she was real. She seemed fun, down-to-earth, and approachable when she “wasn’t perfect.”

The truth is, outward perfection can cover a lot of inward brokenness. But, it’s our inner self, our heart that really matters. If we are honest, we will all admit to being broken in some way. Guess what? It’s okay to be a hot mess. That’s the reality of life in a fallen world.

This why the gospel is such good news. Jesus, because of His amazing love for us, even though we were messed up sinners, died for us. (Romans 5:8.) He died to give us forgiveness, power, and life. Familiarity sometimes causes us to lose sight of this beautiful truth.

Jesus loves our broken, hurting hearts exactly like they are. He doesn’t expect us to have it all together. He isn’t shocked or disappointed by our mistakes. In fact, there is nothing you can do to make God love you any less!

Romans 8:1 says “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Are you “in Christ”; have you trusted Him alone as Savior? Then there is no condemnation. Period.
I don’t know where your pressure is coming from. It could be your spouse or family member. Maybe it’s people in your ministry. Or it might be your own personal expectations. Will you believe the truth about who you are in Christ? Will you let go of perfect and just be real?

 About the Author:

Christy Wood is a former youth pastor’s wife, mother of two, lover of Jesus, hater of legalism, blogger, and hopeful author. After spending her teens in a legalistic Christian cult, Christy is passionate about the truth and about helping people find genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. She blogs at www.letmebefoolish.com.

You can connect with Christy on Twitter (@letmebefoolish) or Faceboo

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