I hate to break it to you, but life is not perfect, and neither are you.When I was a kid, my mom would remind me, “Karlie, you are not perfect, and you never will be. You might as well realize this now.” This may sound harsh, but I really struggled with perfectionism as a kid, to the point of frustration. Basically, she was saying life is not perfect and putting my hope in something that I cannot obtain is hopeless. Telling someone they are not perfect may sound discouraging, but it can be exhausting expecting perfection in a fallen world.
So does that mean we stop striving for perfection? We desire perfection, but often look to the wrong places for perfection. I usually put my hope in planning. If everything goes according to plan, my life will be perfect. But life is not perfect; relationships fall through, cars break down, family members get sick, etc. So what do we do? Well, if you are like me, I worry. At least then I feel like I am being productive. But in the end I find worrying doesn’t accomplish anything other than raise my stress level.
“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5b-7)
I am not the one in control. Worry only reveals a heart that does not fully trust the Lord with all things. If God can take care of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field (Matt. 6:25-34), why do we doubt His care for you and me?
This year, I’ve made it my goal to stress less and trust God more. Will life go according to my plan this year? Probably not, and if hard times haven’t come, they are probably just around the corner. Yet what looks like failure or a mistake to us may just be God’s plan from the beginning. It’s frustrating when plans don’t work out, but that’s life. Thankfully, we cannot ruin God’s plan. His ways are above our ways and His timing is perfect, even if it does not fit our timeline. When faced with disappointments, we need to rejoice and trust in Him. After all, nothing is supposed to be perfect, on this side of heaven.
I guess my mom was partially correct, I am not perfect, but I am being perfected every day. As Paul says later in Philippians: “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Philippians 3:12).
We will be perfect someday, as He is perfect. When life doesn’t go according to plan, we need to look to the One who is perfect and makes us perfect in Christ; rest in His perfection.