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You can be less than perfect but still unmistakably valuable. You might hear “Nobody is perfect” after someone makes a mistake. But that phrase might also mean no one can be everything to everybody. You can be flawed and perfect at the same time.
To be imperfect and a Christian simply means that you aren’t living up to your ideal self. You need to mature into who God made you to be. The only way to be perfect is to trust God will fulfill His promise to completely sanctify you. God has the power to fully disinfect you from all sin.
You Are Imperfect
How positive are you about yourself? Can you look at yourself, see your brokenness, or even your sinful behaviors, and still know you are completely loved by God? Can you be limited in your abilities, flawed, and valuable? As you find the answers to these questions you will be able to live with strength and confidence.
Our hearts long for the end of all that is wrong, but in this life only God is perfect. We must live with less than ideal circumstances whether we like it or not.
One way to cope with imperfection is by employing all-or-nothing thinking. It’s useful when you can’t stand to look at your flaws. Like all coping, it stops the pain but a lack of felt discomfort doesn’t mean you are thriving.
If any imperfection means you are worthless, then you must believe you can’t make mistakes if you want to be valuable. The only way to achieve this is through denial of reality. Therefore, all-or-nothing thinking increases the likelihood of impulsive decisions and obsessive behaviors. Fear motivates the all-or-nothing thinker to attempt the impossible. Because it is impossible, more fear is generated. This never-ending cycle is like an addiction.
You Are Perfect
If someone or something isn’t perfect, what good is it? Does God only love you because He’s got no one better to love? No! God made you in His image, so you already have the highest value possible.
There’s no need to strive for perfection because you already have it. The only real flaw you have is the sin living within you. But Jesus has already crucified your sin.
So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.Romans 6:11 NLT
To be all-in for God is healthy, but all-or-nothing thinking is unhealthy. God has no flaws, so there is no harm in fully trusting Him. Yet, it’s normal to struggle to trust Him when you are suffering.
Since you aren’t perfect (yet) you will only harm yourself if you can’t accept yourself with your flaws. It’s okay if you aren’t your ideal self yet. God’s design of you is perfect. He has set you free from your flaws and He isn’t finished with you yet.
Healthy thinking results in self-control, peace, and compassion. You can slow down and realize that you have everything you need in the present moment.
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.2 Peter 1:3 NLT
Responding in fear (worrying) doesn’t help. Worrying is like driving your car in neutral or rocking in a chair. Both expend energy, but neither get you anywhere real.
Extreme behavior is often wasteful. The best approach stops at good enough. Instead of wasting your energy, why not channel it into activities that benefit others or you?
Has your life become extreme and therefore imbalanced in any way? The opposite of worry is trust. If you want to be imperfect live strong anyway, consider God’s words to Israel:
The holy Lord God of IsraelIsaiah 30:15 CEV
had told all of you,
“I will keep you safe
if you turn back to me
and calm down.
I will make you strong
if you quietly trust me.”
What steps can you take to regain balance (give up worrying and self-reliance) and therefore increase your peace and efficiency?
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.