Growing up I always viewed flaws and mistakes as something that disqualified me from anything good. Even though I was raised in a God-fearing church, I never heard much about grace. Only when mercy was spoken of. So I assumed they were the same or at least brother and sister. How wrong was I to believe that? Mercy is not getting what you do deserve. So there’s no loss there. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve. So you get something you never worked for. There were times I would break things as a child and get disciplined for either being clumsy or careless. This approach made me attach mistakes and error to discipline. Mistakes had a negative connotation for me. Now having children of my own, I now understand mistakes are simply a part of life and a means to connect our lives and Christ. Even in school, I was conditioned to view mistakes as a means of action not a means of progress. So by any means necessary, I would avoid any mistake going through life. Even when I made a mistake I would lie and hide it.
We can never truly have the full story of anyone’s life unless they either divulge it or it is ours. It is very easy to assume others lives and journeys by what we see on social media or in the little time we do converse with them. This is where we draw most of our conclusions about mistakes and flaws. We go through life sharing less and less of our mistakes, creating an image that isn’t human but imagined and hoped for. I have struggled most of my life thinking that flaws and mistakes kept me from many blessings from both God and people. I was very wrong. It just limited my connection and effectiveness. As I was writing podcast notes for my most recent episode of “The Abundant Grace for Life Podcast”, titled, “Put down perfection and pick up grace”, I came across 2 Corinthians 12: 9 That says “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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This exposed my wrong way of thinking. For so long I thought the closer I came the looking perfect the more I would be accepted by Christ and man. Now I know, the more I embrace my flaws the more I can accept and give Gods grace. In lei of that, the more I chase perfection the further I move from the cross and what Christ did on Calvary. The very thing I was chasing to get to Christ had nothing to do with him. It was my being fearful of exposure to the core of who I was and not accepting it through Christ’s eyes. I had to truly know that God would accept me like he said he would. It takes faith to accept Gods grace and it takes God grace to give grace. We must rejoice and delight in our weaknesses for God to receive glory and for our pride and arrogance to be defeated. Our arrogance and pride can keep us from accepting God’s grace. which will make us believe we have little to pray about regularly. The more I felt I needed to be perfect the more I was playing my savior. I was shooting at a moving target I could never hit, that only Christ could and did.
Our view on Gods grace and perfection bleeds into how to communicate, love and live. I realized the lack of grace in my life shown in how much I would love to my wife and children. Thus creating a new cycle of perfection my children would chase. However, by the grace and through his holy spirit I had this epiphany and was able to teach grace through my actions and love for Christ. Thus the spark that ignited this yearning for understanding of grace.
I urge you today to rejoice in your mistakes and embrace them. They are a means through which God can be glorified and you can be fortified. Yes, our mistakes make is look less than because we are less. They make us look weak because we are weak. They make use look unintelligent because we are, but they make God look strong because he is strong. When God gets involved, the flaws don’t matter. He makes us shine brighter than we ever could without him.