But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
I used to think church was for perfect people. Looking around our sanctuary it seemed “those” families had it all together. Have you seen them? They are crews with freshly pressed clothes, smiles on their faces, sitting close to each other in the front. Their pews seem extra-fitted with an extra helping of Jesus peace!
But life wasn’t like that in our family. No, many days with seven children in the house, it was a chaotic and frenzied rush to get to our church. We didn’t even have far to travel to get there. It was located across the street from our house!
But someone had always misplaced a bible. Most Sundays, I remember a mini-crisis occurred when we didn’t have enough dollars for each child to tithe in their Sunday school offering envelope. I remember thinking I would rather be mortally wounded than to show up without some dollars in hand!
Our crazed mornings usually closed when more than one of us melted into a battle of yelling and tears…followed by guilt. I’d sit in the pew at church, feeling like a fraud. Is this what Jesus had in mind when he died on the cross? Couldn’t everyone see my ugly heart? The heart that just moments ago screamed the worst of the worst at my twin sister for wearing the very dress I had in mind?
I would vow to be better prepared for God’s special day next week. Perfect. Then surely God would love me… and maybe I’d deserve it?
These feelings followed me into adulthood. I found myself falling into that old pattern of stress filled Sunday mornings with my husband and children. But our God is an awesome God. He whispered quietly to my heart to find a better way. To stop projecting a perfect image in this world. You see, church is not for perfect people. Jesus’ salvation isn’t for the blameless.
It’s for me. For you. For sinners and people who are real. Flawed.
Today, I am proud to say I am Jesus’ perfectly imperfect child. What a relief! I never realized how much energy I invested in that façade. Now, I’m the one walking in late, usually with a sweat breaking from getting just two little ones into their Sunday School classes. But I’m there. Present. Ready to receive the love and message God has just for me.
Girlfriends, if this is an area that speaks to your heart, accept God’s grace in your imperfection and listen to where He is convicting you for change. Accept His instruction without believing that we must be perfect to be loved and valuable to Him.
God, Help us to look to You for confidence and love. We pray You can use every part of us as uniquely and wonderfully made. Help us to be open and vulnerable with others about our areas of struggle with the goal of providing a means to relate and witness of Your love that makes us perfect in Your sight. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 NIV