I’m a perfectionist. Oddly, this is a new revelation for me. I like to think of myself as a lazy perfectionist. If I choose to do something, I do it to the best of my ability. I also expect everyone else to use the same caution and precision to do their jobs. All this to say, I’m disappointed in myself and others a lot.
It’s not a great way to live. Maybe you’re like me and can imagine the guilt I live with everyday as I fail to meet my own standards. In the past few months, the pressure I put on myself and others has really weighed me down. At times, more than I could handle. But God has used these heavy times in my life to teach me a powerful lesson.
My lazy perfectionism is counteracted by my frugality. I will use a chipped glass and wear a pair of shoes until the sole falls off. “Just because it’s broken, doesn’t mean it’s ruined.” This phrase popped into my head one day and it occurred to me that it applies to more than my cheap things. It applies to people, too.
I hate to admit it, but subconsciously, I write people off after minor mistakes. It occurred to me that day that people who are broken are not ruined. They aren’t worthless. Not at all! We’re all broken and it was at our lowest that God thought us worthy of the ultimate display of love.
God uses broken people, only broken people, to do his work here on earth. Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer and murderer and God called him “a man after his own heart.” Rahab was a prostitute. Gideon was afraid. Peter got it wrong, time after time.
And Martha was a worrier and perfectionist like me. She gets a bad wrap when Jesus reprimands her for choosing to cook rather than listen at his feet in Luke 10, but it was Martha who ran to Jesus while Mary stayed home and wept over their brother’s death in John 11:
20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
God’s lesson for me here was to remember that God uses us and our flaws for his glory all the time. Let’s all give each other a little grace. Ourselves included. We are so loved and worthy of His love. Our job isn’t to judge anyone, it’s to be a reflection of God’s love in all areas of life.
God, may we do this with your grace, seeing ourselves and each other through your eyes.