Those who know me, know how I struggle with self-esteem and it shows in ways I do not care to mention. In Junior High School, I carried a picture of my older sister in my books and would look at it to get a little bit of courage when school and homework became unbearable; probably wasn’t her best picture but, it was all I had to hold onto. You see, I struggled in school especially in math and art; everyone else did better than me and each low grade brought me that much was closer to the end of my rope. To add to my misery, my peer group picked on me a lot. I so desired to be like the successful kids who seemed to be enjoying school, asked to be a part of groups, and mentioned in the School yearbook; I even imagined what it would be like yet, it was only a fantasy because I was not like them by any stretch of the imagination and thank heavens for that. My Father, like my older sister, could do just about anything and could talk to anyone and get a good conversation going; so, I tried to be like them and what a mistake it was! I would find out later in life that when we try to be like those we idolize, we lose our identity and it creates further confusion in our life. The other part of the problem with people is that we do not always know what is going on in the background. When these so-called perfect people fall and they all do, those who followed them become disillusioned sort of like what happened with King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3).
As I said, my father was amazing, he never seemed to make a mistake. Years later, though, I asked him, “how on earth did you always obtain perfection; you never made a mistake”? He laughed and said, “I was just a little bit quicker to clean things up before anyone found out”. This was an epiphany for me because, I then understood that just because someone had success in something by no means implies, “they never made a mistake”; it just means that the mistake may never have been found out. You see, our perceptions are warped when all we see is the outside and we as humans tend to fall into this trap many times throughout our life. It is a truth, that no one knows what the other person is going through and just because that other person is smiling and laughing, doesn’t imply, “life is at its best”. Consider the late Robin Williams whose charismatic personality brought laughter to millions all the while, he suffered with severe depression leading to his suicide; or, as proverbs so accurately puts it, “Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains (Proverbs 14:13 NLT)”. Only until we enter the throne room of God do, we actually find out that the only perfect person is God himself (Psalms 119:96). For these same reasons, I believe scripture is open and transparent about how sin ruined lives and no one was beyond God’s red pen of correction. Imagine, if you will, that the only records in scripture were of perfect people, it would be a mere work of fiction and be devoid of hope because there is no way you nor I could ever measure up and there would be no pathway for me to the Kingdom of God. The events and snippets of scripture are there so that we can learn to avoid sin and to know without a doubt that if God can love a David in view of the debacle with Bathsheba if he loved a womanizer like Solomon, he loves us and desires the best for or life. My encouragement for you today is to look past the veil of perfection as the world shows it and see God’s love for you exactly as you are.
I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for. Perfection is God’s business Michael J Fox. “I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus[f] be with you” (Romans 16:19-20 NLT).
Father,I pray for my friends and family today. May you guide us by your eyes and lead us by your Spirit. Help me to ever keep my eyes on you in all that I do. I pray for those facing steep medical issues, financial issues, and personal issues. Help them to sense your presence about their life. Please help me as I face my life to always know with firm conviction that I cannot be like others and walk free in your kingdom. Doubtless, there will always be the perceived epitome of perfection help me to pray for that person that their pride did not get in the way of walking with you. May your good Spirit lead and guide my friends and family today.
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