I’ve never been a perfectionist. In fact, part of me has always known that I will never reach perfection.
It says it all over the bible that this is true. Take Philippians 1:6 for instance, which says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (NLT). It shows us right there that we will not reach perfection in this life. Although this is true, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to improve and become the best version of ourselves.
Of course, I strive to improve. Sometimes, I can be too hard on myself, but I have awesome people in my life who remind me of that.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24, ESV). These verses remind us to strive for improvement. To work continuously. I believe this verse refers to several things. I think it refers to our jobs, school work, the improvement of our hearts, parenting and many other things. Yet, there is a point that we have to hand over our expectations of ourselves to Christ, and let Him guide us.
Through all of this, God has been teaching me something that has been pretty difficult for me to grasp. He’s been showing me that I can’t be expecting as much out of others as I have in the past. I see the best in people, always. Take for example my friend who is spending his second round in jail, but I still see the potential in him to be an incredible pastor, even though he is far from that today. I cannot count the many times he has disappointed me, because of this image I have of him.
That is simply one example of this.
What I have been figuring out, is that if I have never expected myself to be perfect, how can I expect others?
I have been learning to love people, despite how they might disappoint me. If I stop talking to every person who messes up and disappoints me, there will come a point in my life that I will no longer have anyone to talk to. I have to continue pushing forward with these friendships, working with these disappointments.
What really got me to this understanding was a recently developed friendship. I have come to know this person fairly well, and he is the perfect example to me of a godly man. (Yes, I’m being vague for a reason) He accepts disappointment, he is very apologetic when something isn’t right, he has a great sense of humor, he truly cares about others, and he has a very healthy marriage. All of these things have been good for my heart. It has been great to see someone truly living a normal, American life, but very much so in Christ’s will. To have an idea of what I want in my future husband, and for my someday marriage. I began to build up this person in my mind as perfection. It’s a tendency…a habit even, but one that goes unnoticed. Tonight, while talking, he said something that threw me off. My heart immediately took all the good that I had found in him, and I began to look for the disappointments. Only minutes later, in the same conversation, he said something that completely blew my mind (in a good way). When I had some down time, it all clicked. This is something God has been trying to teach me for months, maybe even years, and I finally am figuring it out!
I need to remember that since I am not perfect, neither is anyone else.
I need to remember that I will constantly be disappointed by humans.
I need to remember that every single person in my life will disappoint me at least once, if not several times.
I don’t know why it has taken so long for me to get this. I know I can be pretty dense sometimes, if there is something I don’t really feel like learning. I really love being able to see the best potential in people, in fact, I probably always will. It’s a matter of taking that gift, and using it to please God. It’s about balance..being able to see people in God’s eyes is not only about seeing the best in people, but also understanding that nobody is perfect.
Have a blessed day!