Monday, October 15, 2012

The Problem with Perfection

Why is it , that as women, have an obsession with being perfect? As far as I can think back I can't remember a time when I wasn't comparing myself to someone else (usually another woman) about something. This is not to say that I haven't been happy or joyful in my life or content with where I am. I'm also not saying that we shouldn't try to be the best version of ourselves that we can be or strive to be better. However I do think there is a point in areas of our life that we do get to the best we will be, yet we aren't satisfied because its not the same as someone else's best.

There are three things I was told before the age of 18 that have stuck with me that I am constantly reminding myself of:

       1. My mom once told me, as I was barely passing math (even though I had a tutor and did extra     credit), that if this was the best I could do then it was the best I could do. She expected nothing more or less that what was my best. She expected my best, not someone else's best.

       2. In one of my classes a girl, I now can't remember who, said the best advice she had ever been given was not to compare herself to anyone. And the reason was that no matter were you go there is someone you will think is smarter or prettier than you, but there is also someone there that thinks you are the smarter or prettier one. No one can be on the top all the time.

       3. If we were able to be perfect without God He wouldn't have created us to need Him. And that He has made each of us specifically the way He wanted us to be.

If we take a look in the Bible the only time the word "perfect" is used its in reference to describing who God is or what God is doing with us. So in other words He is perfect and is working on perfecting us. Meaning no one, other than Christ, was or will ever be perfect without God. We are perfected in Him.

I think as Christian women we know this, but rarely live it out. We are constantly comparing or bodies, our hair, clothes, homes, cars, abilities, careers, parenting styles, children, husbands, pets, and more. And more often than not whoever we are comparing ourselves to, in our minds, wins.

We never consider that the reason our friend may be thinner is because is up at 4am running while we are fast asleep, or worse she is hiding an eating disorder while comparing herself to every women she meets. Or yes she may have a nicer car or home but is going through infertility. The list could go on and on. My point is that we never know what is going on with the person we are comparing ourselves to.

I often question
What if we stopped comparing ourselves to each other an lifted each other in prayer?
What if we were honest about our struggles, pains, and hurts?
What if we loved each other the way Christ calls His church to love?

Could you imagine the changes that would take place with in our friendships, churches, communities, and with in ourselves?

What if we saw imperfection as our greatest asset, allowing it to be something that reminds us that we are all in this together?

I encourage you this week that when you see that woman your comparing yourself not as the enemy or the bar to measure up to but to as someone to reach out to. Lift her up in prayer.

Also embrace your imperfections and allow Christ to work in you through them.

Remember it is in our imperfections that Christ can shine the brightest.