Dear Perfect Christian,
First, we want to acknowledge that you do not exist. You never can, nor will you ever exist. We are sorry to tell you this, but your mission is 100% impossible and we regret to inform you it is one God never called you to.
We also want to encourage you, finally, to let your shoulders relax. You can let down your guard. You can stop pretending you’re a whole lot better than you look. You can let go of the messy drawers, the bad habits, the quick responses and stop beating yourself over the head with a self-improvement plan that never seems to work. You can inhale, let your stomach fill and then exhale.
You can rest. Finally, you can rest. You can find a daddy God who doesn’t look at you for what you can do, but who you are in him. You can see him want to be near to you. You can see him approach you with the fullness of love.
He wants you, even when you don’t want to see the horrible things you’ve done.
Breathe deep. Again.
There is peace for you. Even when you are face-to-face with a horrible, ugly, unwanted failure. Still, there is peace, love and hope. Acceptance of failure is freedom.
I am writing you today with an invitation to let in- the love you hold at an arms-length. The love your always-unmet achievements declare you unworthy of. The love you keep away lest it make you feel needy. The love that will change you.
Today, let in…Christ. Let love in to a greater capacity.
What Jesus did covers what you don’t do. What he did washes away the blame that sticks. What he did marks you blameless. What he did removes the status of “wholly unworthy” and leaves you with an identity of holy.
This status reminds you: you will mess up, but God never gives up on you.
Return here, to this reminder. It is your rest. He wants you, not your work. He wants your heart. Let him have it. Let it be immersed in the Living Water. Let it splash around, dance, have fun, be free and enjoy the goodness of him who loves you.
I’ll meet you there.
Love, a fellow trying-to-be-perfect girl,
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Thank you, Kelly, for posting this. I’m with you on this whole perfect Christian struggle thing. 🙂 I’m reminded of a sermon illustration I once heard -and have now tweaked a little bit. 🙂 This story relayed the tale of a young woman who has fallen down a deep pit and gets stuck in the bottom, injured and fallen much too far down to easily return. This girl can either wait for rescue by another person or she can attempt to climb out on her own. She sees a ladder leaning against one wall of the pit that lets out at the height from which she fell – exactly where she wants to be. Seeing this, she decides to start climbing feebly, but as she continues in this way, she realizes that no matter how far she climbs, there will always be more to climb, and she will never be able to escape on her own. Discouraged, this young woman wearily retraces her steps down to the bottom and weeps in despair. As she sits there crying, she hears a noise above her head and looks up to see a man, robed in white and a sash of royal purple, descending the ladder. She is overjoyed at the thought that this man might be coming to rescue her. Her suspicions are confirmed when he sets foot on the bottom of the pit and looks on her with the greatest compassion she’s ever known. The look in his eyes makes her heart want to weep and dance for joy at the love she finds there. He offers to heal her wounds and carry her all the way up the ladder to safety, and she gladly, thankfully accepts. Carried in his strong arms, she is brought back, filled with an overwhelming sense of joyful gratitude and love for her Savior that compels her to stay forever near him and to do whatever he asks of her out of her immense gratitude for what he has done for her.
In the sermon I heard the original illustration that the above one was inspired by, the speaker said that in the Christian faith, we believe that Jesus carried us up the ladder from the absolute bottom of the pit, but other works+faith based religions (ex: Mormonism) believe that Jesus only carries up the rest of the way up the ladder, after we’ve climbed as far as we can. So often, we Christians act as if we believe this second option is true-that Jesus’ work on the cross was sufficient to cover our sins ( but only in combination with our best efforts). We must declare the truth of our Father’s gospel of freely given GRACE to ourselves everyday in order to keep our mind and therefore our actions rooted in Truth. We must not fall prey to the mixed “gospel” of grace + law as the Galatian church did, for it is ” no gospel at all”. My favorite sermon series ever is by Pete Briscoe at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton, TX. It’s called Dance Lessons, and it’s an in depth study of these opposing “gospels” that were believed in the Galatian church as told in Galatians, and it’s about the kind of Spirit led life Christians are now free to live in Christ. I love the series; it has changed the way I view the Christian life entirely. I highly recommend it.
Thank you again for your consistent vulnerability and willingness to share your faith struggles and triumphs! with us fellow journeyers. 🙂 Thank you for reminding us that we’re all on the way Home together, with God before us, Jesus and eachother beside us, and the Holy Spirit within us. God bless you!!!
We are imperfect Christians, trying to be perfect for the Lord, we are imperfect Christians, but we have a perfect Lord.