Don’t be perfect, be redeemed? This has been a word that Jesus has been gently massaging into my spirit. It’s a pulling out of misconceptions and false views of myself and others. It requires that I let go of ideals and take a deeper look at what perfect really means.
Perfect. A state of being that is completely unattainable yet, one that I seem bent on reaching. The perfect mother, wife, friend, daughter. The slightest mess or mistake devastates me because it threatens my goal of perfection.
What I am really doing is hiding the fact that I am afraid of rejection. If I really let you see me, will you reject me? I want you to love me. So, I hide. I hide my mess, my weaknesses, my mistakes, and more because I am afraid you won’t love me. You see imperfect, messy me is just that….messy. In my times of mess, I am often breaking into a million pieces.
Don’t be perfect, be redeemed
I remember sitting under my pastor’s teaching on brokenness and communion. Papa showed me that I was hiding under a table covered by a tablecloth. I was being the Shulamite woman hiding away with my shame and fear of rejection. I was frustrated that I wasn’t…..Perfect.
Jesus joined me under my table. He looked at me lovingly yet squarely in the eyes and said:
“I don’t expect you to be perfect, because I am not perfect according to your measure of perfect. Look at my body. It too is scarred worse than yours. I don’t want your perfect. I want you. That is were you become mature with me. I know you are human and I embrace that because I love to redeem. Don’t be perfect, be redeemed.
(Check out Patricia’s post if you want to understand the definition of redemption.)
Stepping out of perfection and into redemption
The more I sit with Jesus in this revelation the more I realize that life is a journey of experiences both positive and negative. Experiences mean that we are living. Mess and broken mean we are living and experiencing. We are trying and taking risks. I believe God honors that and smiles when we close our eyes to take in that deep breath of courage before leaping into the unknown.
In it all, He asks that we continue to remain vulnerable and open to him. Jesus is the safest person we can trust. So, we risk. We open the door to those no entry places of our hearts a little wider for a little longer. The light of his presence pours in a bit more. In this moment, love casts out all far. Its ok to be broken messy and human. We are loved and accepted and cherished by God. He redeems and redefines us instead of our shortcomings and circumstances.
But then, I wonder about my ideals and my desire for life to go perfectly according to pan. Life tends to plough on almost mercilessly throwing me into situations I am unprepared for and didn’t expect. What do I do with this? I know I’m going to make a mess or fumble around barely treading water.
These are the moments of letting go. Letting go of my ideals and standard of perfection to embrace with both hands the fullness of love. You see love is not afraid of mess or getting its hands dirty. No. Love is patient and kind and not self-seeking. It extends grace and mercy laced with compassion and understanding. love doesn’t demand perfection. It seeks openness and vulnerability.
Jesus, come into my spaces
So, I find myself asking Jesus to do this one thing – “come into my spaces – those messy broken spaces that only he can define and redeem. He takes the lead and we follow. All Papa asks of any of us is that we love fully. Love him and each other. We love him first because he is our excellent role model of love. From there, we love each other fully and deeply. We bravely allow our hearts to intertwine with each other because we need each other. This is when we become a cord of three strands not easily broken.
Imperfect, messy you is deeply loved
With love and grace, we courageously lower our walls and masquerade masks. We look at each other in the eyes albeit awkwardly and shyly. What do you see? I see you looking at me with love and acceptance.
Dearest, your mess does not define you. God does. You are seen and valued for who you are right now in your mess and brokenness. You are a broken offering that releases sweet smelling fragrance heavenward. You are alive, breathing the life of God. You are deeply loved.
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