Perfect Grace

I’ll never be perfect, despite my unrealistic, self imposed expectations. Despite knowing this, I’m shattered each time I’m confronted with my own failure, dismayed to rediscover that truth. I am not perfect. Hopes are dashed. I thought I was getting it this time. I thought I had finally arrived. Alas, not so. It never is. In fact, it seems as though each time I reach this conclusion, I find myself face down in the dirt almost immediately. Thank you, Jesus for humbling me again, at least until the next time I forget that it’s you who made me what I am and gave me what I have.

Despite my imperfect state, I believe I can still get it right by working through my failure and being willing to learn. If we’re teachable, God can work with us. It’s when I refuse to admit that I’m imperfect that I become a true failure and seal my fate never to grow past that moment. I will never grow past it until I can admit my fault and then move on, learn from it, grow as a result of it, and become better as a result. Better at waiting, listening, serving, humility, praying, remaining in his word, parenting, swimming … whatever.
This necessitates receiving grace. If I refuse grace, I must then be perfect. There is no alternative. I’m too good for grace. If, however, I receive grace, I can then face the fact that I am imperfect and am then free to grow. Amazing. To grow I must receive grace. John Newton wrote, “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear”. Grace is necessary because I am imperfect. I am capable of no good thing. I am rotten through and through and there is nothing – absolutely nothing – that I can do about it. “And grace my fears relieved”, he continues. Grace is given in spite of my nothingness. Undeserved, unwarranted favor is given to me because God graciously chooses to. It has nothing to do with me, my actions, deeds, attitudes or choices. My successes and failures do not influence his decision. It is only by his grace and mercy that I am saved through Jesus’ blood. God could choose to make me pay the price for my own sin, but allowed Jesus to pay it for me. It is only by his grace and mercy that I have the Holy Spirit in me who is the source of any good thing I think, do or say. It is only by his grace and mercy that I can grow closer to him, purer in him, more pleasing to him. And, one day by his grace he will choose to make me perfect – an act only God could accomplish. Until then, I must plod through my mistakes and blunders, learning to trust and follow him.

Helpful Verses

“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
I want to do what is right, but I can’t”
Romans 7:18

"God saved you by his grace when you believed.
And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”
Ephesians 2:8

“I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”
Galatians 2:21

“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best
in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9


Sab said...

Ugh... I hate making mistakes too. I can't stand it... although I think I'm getting better at accepting it. Not there yet, but better. Funny how we grow up thinking perfectionism is a 'good' or 'godly' trait, and really it's actually a major thorn in the backside... not to mention it can prove to make accepting God's grace more difficult in the long run. Hmm... how does that work?

Kimberly Dawn Rempel said...

I'm newly enthralled with the lyrics of a song that go 'Oh he died, he died, to rectify my hopless situation' ... it is hopeless. There's nothing I can do. Only by God's grace am I alive, saved, pleasing to Him through Jesus. That's it. ... tough pill to take, but I keep praying for humility and to understand how to live in grace, not leaning on my works, choices, or understanding.