It's So Hard to Be Perfect - Encouragement Café - March 11

It's So Hard To Be Perfect
 By Dawn Mast

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at.  People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV

Pinterest. Martha Stewart's flawless tablescapes.  Photo-shopped faces and bodies in magazines.  The world’s definition of perfect can be found in many places, but I often end up feeling bad about myself and my efforts when I look to the world.  I compare, contrast and come up short. In the world’s economy, I just don't seem to measure up.

But the Lord uses a different equation.  He is so very, very interested in our heart. He sent Jesus so that we might be saved and salvation has nothing to do with how much we weigh, how beautiful the world perceives we are, or how much money we make.

Perfect Jesus died on the cross so that the sinful imperfections in us could be covered by His forgiving grace.

Sit in that thought for a moment.

Let it marinate in your soul and take hold of your heart and bring you hope when you feel the weight of your imperfection.

Grab His Perfect Grace.

When the Lord sent Samuel to anoint David (who would later become king and who made plenty of mistakes and missteps along the way) He gave Samuel some advice.  God knows how people think. He knew Samuel was probably going to be seeking to anoint someone who looked like a king.  Regal.  Majestic.  The real deal and "perfect" for the part of king.

Our hearts do not need to be perfect… an impossible task actually… just like keeping a perfect home!  We just need to set our minds on Christ and His Perfection.  Trying to be perfect is exhausting.  Just being in the presence of Jesus is freeing and that feels pretty close to perfect!

If you struggle with trying to be perfect, then feeling down because you think you have failed at being perfect (I have A LOT of experience in this area!) you are not alone.  First, tell the Lord how you struggle.  Be honest and open with Him. Pray and ask Him to help you.  It sounds simple because it is.

Also find one or two things you do well, and enjoy, and hone those skills and talents.  It is so delightful when you can feel accomplished in something, then the "I can'ts" in your life don't seem to have such power over you. 

Finally, remember that perfection means different things to different people.  Your house may not be as neat as your neighbor’s, but you don't live at her house.  Not setting impossible standards can be a real help in overcoming perfectionism.

Father God, thank You for being perfect so I don't have to be.  Help me when I try to be someone You didn't make me to be.  Please, Lord, help me to absorb Your love, impossible grace, peace and mercy so I can rest in the true knowledge of You and not get hung up on trying to attain the task of being perfect.  Amen.

© 2019 by Dawn Mast.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Monday, 11 March 2024.