Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs, CO

Why being perfect doesn’t matter to God

Does your brain ever grind to a screeching halt? Where it simply refuses to think one more useful thought? It’s like your mind hits a brick wall and the only thing it generates is an overwhelming desire to eat chocolate and watch Doctor Who. Maybe that’s just me. =)

I didn’t used to need to write anything down. I could keep track of everything in my head. Then I hit high school. Then I hit college. And after that? Well, everything changed. Let’s just say I realized yesterday that I’m going to have to start keeping track of everything I do in a notebook because my brain just can’t keep up.

Why? Because I missed something. I forgot something. I misplaced something important. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s going to be a huge pain in my backside.

There’s too much going on. I’m trying to simplify, and it’s helping. But kind of like cleaning your room, you’ve got to make a bigger mess before you can really start organizing, and I feel like that’s where my life is right now. And that can be really depressing if you think about it too long,

Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs, CO

Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs, CO

Today’s verses are Psalm 94:17-19.

Unless the Lord had helped me,
    I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.
I cried out, “I am slipping!”
    but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
When doubts filled my mind,
    your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

Life is busy. Everyone is busy in some way or another. If you aren’t, I’d love to know your secret.

Being busy is good as long as it doesn’t take you away from the things that really matter in your life, like your relationship with God and your family. But no matter how hard you work, no matter how much of a perfectionist you are, you’re going to screw up.

You will. Don’t argue.

That’s not an excuse to underperform. And just because you know you aren’t perfect doesn’t justify not even trying. But I know I get so wrapped up in dotting every i and crossing every t that sometimes I don’t even want to take the risk that I’ll screw up. And that’s not how we’re called to live.

We aren’t called to hide in the shadows for fear that we’ll make a wrong move. We aren’t called to hunker down in our safe little bubbles and cover our heads so we make sure we never fail.

We are called to be warriors. Conquerors. More than conquerors, actually. And with God on our side, there’s nothing we can’t do. With God on our side, there’s no fall we can’t pick ourselves up from. That doesn’t mean we should plan to faceplant, but when we do, we shouldn’t let it throw us.

Like the Psalm says, God is there to help us. If not for Him, we all would have been destroyed years ago. God’s love is unfailing, which means that even when we don’t perform at our best, God loves us anyway.

God’s love isn’t dependent on our performance. Aren’t you glad for that? Can you imagine having to do a song and dance to keep God happy? I know some people live their lives that way, and I couldn’t do it.

We don’t have to pay God off. We don’t have to get straight A’s in school or make it through a month without a speeding ticket. We don’t have to keep perfect records or walk on eggshells. God’s unfailing love supports us no matter what. And we should take comfort from that.

If you’re in the same place today that I was yesterday, that should cheer you up. I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to know all the details. I don’t have to get everything right. God loves me in spite of all that, and He is going to help me get through it.

That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try my best. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t aim to do the best job I can do. But it does mean that on the days when I don’t get everything right, when I forget something, when I make a mistake–He isn’t going to drop me. He isn’t going to forget about me. He isn’t just going to walk away because I’m too much trouble.

When you have doubts, when you start making mistakes because life is too busy for your brain to keep up, remember who God is and remember what He’s promised you. His unfailing love will support you. No, it may not look like what you think it should, but since when did real love look exactly like you expected?

So stop being so hard on yourself. Do your best, but don’t beat yourself bloody for missing a step. God doesn’t hold it against you. So you shouldn’t hold it against you either.

Where do you go to find comfort?

When your life turns upside down, where do you find comfort? Many people I know head straight for the chocolate. Some dive into a book. Others watch television or movies. Some turn to alcohol or drugs. The responses are as varied as the individuals.

When our lives go wrong, most of the time we try to escape it, usually because trying to fix it is beyond us. And focusing on everything that’s wrong is depressing.

But while the chocolate is good and the book or the movie may distract us for a while, when they’re done, the problem will still be there. And maybe alcohol can help you forget for a little while, but when you wake up in the morning, nothing will have changed . . . and you’ll have a hangover.

When life starts circling the drain and nothing seems to be going right, there’s really only one thing we can do. There’s really only one person we can turn to. And that’s God.

Today’s passage is Psalm 94:18-19.

18 I cried out, “I am slipping!”
      but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
 19 When doubts filled my mind,
      your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

Any comfort we try to find on earth is going to be temporary. And even if it’s some solution we’ve concocted, usually it won’t work. Or it will only work for a little while until the situation gets worse.

Ultimately, it’s God who has to solve the problem. Granted, any solution He provides will be temporary too because Earth isn’t going to be around forever, just like we won’t be down here forever either. But His solutions not only solve the problems we’re facing today but also the ones we’ll face in the future.

Now that’s not saying His solutions always make sense. On the contrary, most of the time His solutions are more confusing than the problem! But do you want a God you can understand? I don’t. If I can understand God and know what He’s going to do and know how He thinks all the time, is He much higher than I am? No. God has to be bigger than me so that He is big enough to solve not only my problems but also the problems of everyone on Earth.

And He already solved our greatest problem and that was sin. We are no longer bound to sin. Those who follow Christ have a choice whether to sin or not. We don’t have to be controlled by our desires and our selfishness.

But what about sickness? What about hunger? What about financial instability? What about the economy? What about all the little pesky daily troubles we encounter?

God says He’s got it covered. And if you trust Him, you can take comfort in that. Because God isn’t going to tell you something if it isn’t true. You just have to get to the point where you believe Him.

And while most of what God does doesn’t make sense, there’s one thing you can always count on. And that is God’s unfailing love. No matter what you do or where you go or where you’ve been or where you’re headed, God loves you. He always has. He always will. And there’s nothing you can do to make Him stop . . . because there’s nothing you did to earn it in the first place.

God loves you. And if you are a Christ follower, God is working everything out for your good and for His glory. When you slip and fall, He’ll be there to catch you. And when you are full of doubts and uncertainties, just look back at all the times He’s helped you, all the instances where He has been present in your life. If He’s ordered your steps this far, He isn’t going to stop now.