Thursday, November 22, 2012

Perfectly Imperfect


Pinterest is a dream come true for the aspiring perfectionist. If you have not encountered pinterest yet, it is a virtual and endless pin board where people can post and save photos of projects and ideas. (Be prepared to stay up until 4 am creating your pin boards, by the way). I was browsing the other day looking for homemade gift ideas, and found myself gleefully in the midst of tips for creating the perfect indoor garden and how to tie my scarf into an artfully fool-proof knot. Life is so beautiful on pinterest, picture-perfectly within our reach. I started to click on “how to make a pine cone garland” and was distracted by a pin which simply stated “I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.” I’m not sure if the author of this quote intended this to have a religious interpretation, but I received the message in the light of faith.

Over the past few days, I have been thinking about how deeply this simple message applies to every area of my life. As we approach the Advent season, there is so much pressure to have everything tied up nicely with a bow, and on time. But not from our Savior. He does not ask us to be perfect in order to be worthy of His love. In fact, the bible even reminds us that we should delight in our imperfections because they point to our need for a Savior.

If it’s not pinterest, then it’s the parenting article that makes us wonder if we’re loving our children enough. Or the well-meaning friend who tells us about the amazing way they organize family photos that makes us feel like crying. Maybe it’s the family member who reminds us that we’re never going to lose weight if we eat two slices of pie instead of one. If we look for it, the message of “I just can’t be perfect” is everywhere.

But there is a message of love and acceptance that is also everywhere, if we choose to look for it. So simple that is is overlooked so often. Just the way a precious baby might go unnoticed, sleeping sweetly in a manger. We are loved as we are, just as we have been created. Our Savior does not ask us to be prove ourselves worthy to be loved. The world does.

I must clarify that I happen to be pinterest’s number one fan. I have always been a creative person inspired by the creativity of others, but I lack organizational skills which pinterest makes possible. I think pinterest is a wonderful tool and resource. But just like other forms of technology in our society today, I think it can leave people with the feeling of just not being able to do enough, or be enough. But let us be Christians who try to hold ourselves to a standard of grace and not perfection in the days leading up to Christmas. Let us let the world see the peace inside of us which Jesus gives to us, and the gift of love He wishes us to share with the world. Let us be patient with ourselves in moments of imperfection, and strive for the humility that reminds us that needing God makes us not weak, but strong.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell within me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. “ ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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