The imperfect

by Paula Harrington

It’s been said that confession is good for the soul. The Lord knew this before he instructed us to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16) so while I have your attention, I’m going to use this article as my platform and come clean.

I’m not perfect. I’m not a perfect wife, mother, or employee. And as much as I’d like for you to think that I’m a perfect Christian, I’m far from it.

I procrastinate. I’m selfish. I feel much more comfortable speaking to a large group of people with a studied outline than I do talking with someone one on one. Most times, I’d rather curl up with a good book instead of talking to anyone.

I’m a complainer who sometimes forgets to pray and nearly always has to remind herself to be positive.

I don’t always feel Christian. My first instinct isn’t always to be kind. I’m not that great at hospitality.

I’ve been known to say goofy things and laugh at inappropriate times. I’m made some monumental mistakes and regret decisions that I’m too ashamed to even to write about. Sometimes I feel like I have little to offer Christ or his church.

I’m perfectly imperfect and that’s OK because:

  • Every time I see myself as a failure, God calls me chosen (Colossians 3:12).
  • Every time I remember a sin, he reminds me that I’m forgiven (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; I John 1:9).
  • When I dwell on my faults and weaknesses, he covers me in grace and calls me his child (Romans 8:15-17;] I John 3:1-2).

God loves me even though he knows the real me, the one you don’t see. The one I’m not even sure about myself.

There’s great comfort to be taken from a Savior who didn’t hang around with the perfect. He was more at ease with the sick and sinful.

The religious didn’t like him. The leaders didn’t know what to think of him. But the downtrodden found, not only a friend, but a Healer. He touched the lepers, talked to the women, and ate with sinners. The only perfect person to walk this earth was homeless and mistreated but he came to build his church and he did it with the broken.

Too often, we’re like the little boy in John 6. He was noticed for having food but left it to someone else to point out that it wasn’t enough. “What’s five loaves and a couple fish for a crowd like this?” Do you ever feel like you have little to offer?

  • “He’s divorced. What good is he for the church?”
  • “She’s never even been married! What good is she for the church?”
  • “He’s an ex-con. What good is he?”
  • “They’re too old. What good are they?”

Refuse to believe that you aren’t worthy and don’t allow another’s discouraging words to trump the words of God. He says that you are (John 3:16). Bring what you can to the one who took a couple of fish and a few loaves and fed a multitude. He’ll do great things with you, too.

Take off your mask and come clean. It’s acceptable to be imperfect. It’s not uncommon to have problems. The one who knows you the best loves you anyway.

And stop thinking that only the flawless can stand before the throne of God. Bring what you have and let Christ take control. Jesus will surprise you every time.

Embrace who you are in the one who gave his life for you. Only in him will you be complete (Colossians 2:10).

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Paula Harrington

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3 thoughts on “The imperfect

  1. Paula, I absolutely love this article. We are all flawed but not unforgivable or useless.
    Only God knows whose sin is hidden or the worst, but He loves us anyway. Your points are very clear, throughful, and applicable.

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