Giving Up Perfection for Lent

Have you ever been worried about not being good enough, not being perfect?  It may be a universal concern.

When I was in seminary, I took a course called Entry into Ministry.  In that course, our instructor, Michael Jinkins (now President of Louisville Seminary) said that one of the hardest things for a minister was waking up each morning and looking at yourself in the mirror and realizing that you are still human.  At the time, I wondered what else I could be.  What would I be expecting when I looked in the mirror?  A super hero?  After all, I’ve always been human.  Why would I expect to be anything but human?

Now I would say, that I would add to Jinkins’ thought that the problem is that not only am I human, I am a very fallible human.  There is no way, try as I must, that I can do or say everything right.  And, that bothers me.  It is possible for me to say or do the wrong thing.  And while that may not be an earth shattering news flash, I do not like it.

It bothers me that I make mistakes.  I want to be perfect, even though I know that is impossible.  And, that desire is idolatry of a sort because God alone is perfect.

On one hand, Jesus told us to be perfect even as our Father in Heaven is perfect.  And on the other, the Apostle Paul told us that we have a treasure in clay pots.  My image of the kind of clay pot I am is one with some roughness and maybe a bit of lopsidedness to it.  I even like the idea of myself as a pot having some cracks – so that the grace of God seeps in, and the light of Christ shines out.

God has used many imperfect people through the ages to do amazing things, just read the scriptures to encounter them.  This comforts me.  Our hope is in the Lord who made heaven and earth, the Lord of all, not in me being perfect.  Thank goodness!

I will make an effort to forgive myself for being human.  I invite you to join me.  Give up feeling bad about not being perfect.

Join me, anyone?

About Sonja Roberts Dalglish

I love people, math, physics, and theology. I love mysteries which may explain the list above. I am a polio survivor, having had the disease in August 1954. The vaccine was declared safe in April 1955. I am very pro vaccines. They have increased the health and well being of the world. Presently, I am living just west of Corpus Christi, in Kingsville. For naturalists, this seems to be where the coastal plane and the Wild Horse Dessert meet. It is flat which gives us beautiful sunsets. One of our concerns is climate change. We are already hot and dry and getting hotter and dryer. The cattlemen and women are having to graze fewer livestock these days.
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