I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes people strive for perfection. It seems that these days, our society pushes us to be as perfect as possible. We have to have the perfect figure, the perfect set of friends, the perfect car, the perfect job, and really the perfect life. If we don’t have these things, then we aren’t achieving our purpose in life – to be perfect.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with trying to be the best at things. As a worship leader, I’m constantly trying to get better, so I can give God my best work, and not short-change Him because, after all, that is what He deserves – my best.
But in all honestly, life isn’t perfect. Since Adam and Eve had the incident in the Garden, things have been going wrong. Life is messy, painful, bitter and at times, it makes you want to despair. This breaks God’s heart, but that’s the way the world is.
Life goes wrong. From my experience, if we are constantly trying to be perfect, however, two things will happen. The first is that we will end up getting cross with ourselves every time we muck up which, if you’re like me, happens about once every minute. The beauty of God’s grace is that we don’t have to beat ourselves every time we make a mistake. We should be rightfully repentant and make sure we avoid doing it again, but if we don’t get that God’s grace always forgives and always loves, then we’re in for a bumpy ride.
The second is that out of pain and hurt, fear and bitterness often come the most beautiful things. Friendships, art, nature and more are often all formed from pain and hurt. Some of the most beautiful songs and pieces of art have come out of hurt and suffering. Whilst all these seasons of pain and hurt are by no means fun, they mould us and form us.
The modern attempt to make us perfect causes us not only to lose these moments of beauty, when a soul resurrects itself from the darkest hour. It also pulls us away from relying on God’s grace, and pushes us towards a reliance on material things, not God.
Rather than try to life perfectly, we should try to live in the shadow of God’s grace, and use our mistakes and pain to create something stunning.