Have you ever noticed how easy it is to look at someone else’s life and think they have it “all together”…that they’re so happy…so “perfect”…doing so much better than us? Looks are often deceiving!
A friend told me a while back that she sees me and my life as “perfect”. I gasped and almost laugh out loud when she said it. “What? Get real!” I said.
My friends comment bothered me because I thought she knew me better than that. She knows my past (because she was there with me through some of the worst of times), but I guess she doesn’t really know my present.
She sees the thankful and cheerful Facebook posts, pictures of me and my smiling family. She sees the yearly Christmas letters and Christian blog posts. She doesn’t see the in and out, everyday life that I live. The dirty diapers, wiped tears and toilet scrubbing. She doesn’t see the messes. She doesn’t see me tired and weary. She doesn’t see my bad attitude and temper flare up like (it pains me to say) my husband and little sons do. These aren’t things that we tend to post on Facebook or put in Christmas letters, now are they? Nope, we tend to only put the best “out there” for the world to see, don't we?!
Although I’m very, very thankful for all God has done in my life, for His salvation and blessings. And although I continue to grow, learn and draw closer to Him as the days pass, I am not “perfect” and life is not constantly bliss. And I certainly hope that I’m not giving that ‘fake” impression to people. I want to be real! I want my friends to know that they are not alone in their struggles! We may not have the exact same struggles, but we all have some. If I'm always giving off this "better than thou" impression, it makes it difficult for others to be real with me. I don't want that!
I AM forgiven. I AM loved. I AM free in Christ. But, perfect I am not. The only perfect one is God and anything that is good in me, comes from Him.
The day I surrendered my heart and life to the Lord all of my struggles did not vanish. It is a daily process. Life is hard at times. I am all too human. There are times when I don’t feel very “Christian” (mainly when I take the focus off of my Savior and put it on myself). Have you ever been there?
There are days when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders even though I know it’s not a weight I have to bear alone. Times when I don’t feel like praying although I’ve learned that’s when I need to pray the MOST! Sometimes past habits, thought processes and feelings rise up within me. There are areas where I feel like I should be stronger, more mature, yet I am not. I want to do better, but I battle my sinful human flesh. That’s because I haven’t “arrived” and the truth is I never will. And neither will anyone else, on this side of heaven. My friend is comparing what she sees on the "outside" of me with what she knows is on the "inside" of her.
Let’s get real! Life is not easy. God never promised us that life would be easy.
So what’s so great about being a Christian? God did promise us that if we choose to follow Him, He will be with us and give us the strength we need . Because I know the Savior, I know who IS good! God is good and I know He lives within me! The “old me” didn’t have the reassurance and peace that I now know. The “new me” wants to do better!
Today, despite what I feel or what struggle I’m facing, I know where to turn. When I feel those bad attitudes rising up inside of me, I know WHO can help! No matter where I am or what I have done, I know He is good and will forgive me when I sincerely come to Him. I know He is faithful!
When I feel unlovable, He loves me anyway. He is my loving Father who will never leave nor forsakes me…so in reality I have no need to be lonely or to give into my fleshly desires. When I am weak and weary, He will give me the strength I need. I have no reason to worry, I can cast all my cares on Him. Although I am not perfect, I am covered by His blood. There is hope for me because He is sooo good! Isn’t it reassuring to know we don’t have to be perfect to be forgiven?!
Let’s get real! My life is not “perfect” and I am not "perfect" (whatever that is)! But, His love IS perfect…and that’s what is real!
Do you know where to turn when you feel so much less than perfect? Do you realize that you’re not alone in your struggles? Do you know you are loved? Let’s get real with one another! Let’s turn to the one who IS perfect…and let Him change our lives forever! Let's love each other through all the imperfection...and grow together!
God is love, and all who live in love live in and God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear… I John 4:16-18