I cannot imagine how my kids could ever entertain the idea that I’m perfect (after all, they have a front row seat to some of my most persistent failures), but that’s what my son says sometimes, “I can’t be perfect … like you, mom.”
I don’t want them thinking I’m perfect.
I want them to know it’s OK to wrestle with the messy stuff in life. That it’s fine to ask hard questions. That it’s alright to mess up and ask for forgiveness, over and over and over again. I don’t want them to be discouraged with some faulty ideal of unattainable perfection in this life.
But sometimes I try to wear that mask outside the walls of my home. I want other people to think I’m a good Christian. That I’ve got it all together. Maybe you do it, too.
But it’s a dangerous practice.
It can become a stumbling block for those looking in at Christianity from the outside. When we look too good, they might think they have to be perfect, too. Then, when we fall short like we will all inevitably do, their concept of Christianity comes crashing down.
But when we look like what we are—sinners chasing after the freedom found in forgiveness offered through the sacrifice of a perfect Savior—they will see themselves in us. They will want what we’ve found. They will realize this life is for them, too.
I want to inspire them to pack up all their baggage and drop it at the foot of the cross, not hide it in their trunk.
It is dangerous when we start leaving our dirty laundry outside the church. Not only does the church appear too perfect, but we can’t expect Jesus to clean up the messes we refuse to bring before Him.
I want others to know what it took me much too long to figure out: That God loves us despite our messes. He didn’t wait for us to be perfect because He knew we couldn’t be on our own. He sent His Son as a sacrifice for our sin not as a reward for overcoming it.
Certainly we are called to represent God well, but that doesn’t mean projecting personal perfection, it means pointing to the One who was without flaw.
That means admitting our terminal imperfections, submitting them to the blood of Christ, and seeking the Spirit to lead us in the right direction.
This is freedom!
Author: Liz Giertz