Imperfect

I never liked doing chores when I was growing up. Like any kid, I’d rather be doing whatever it was that I wanted to do. For me, that was usually reading and listening to music in my bedroom. Or at times, it was riding my bike or roller skating down our driveway. But with parents that worked full time and with my Mom in school full time, my brother and I were given chores and were expected to complete them.

It was bad enough my parents made me do chores. What was worse was that I never seemed to do them to their satisfaction. If I did the dishes, I didn’t stack them correctly in the dish drainer. If I was folding laundry, I had to fold the towels and my Dad’s t-shirts just so. Eventually, as a ten or eleven year old, I learned that nothing I did was good enough and that there was really no point in trying.

I can look at certain aspects of my life now and see where this has carried over. I’m quite the perfectionist and certain things in my life must be just so or I can’t find peace. The books on my bookshelves must be in size order. If I play checkers, each checker must sit directly in the center of the square. My medicine bottles are lined up by height on the shelf. My spices and canned goods, as well.

Many times in my life, I’ve found myself faced with tasks that I’ve felt unequal to or unqualified for. Sometimes, those tasks have paralyzed me. But when those tasks involve other people, I find myself pressing on, even when I’m trembling with fear or insecurity. Recently, I’ve found myself in this position again. I’m 32 years old, single, and childless, yet I’m surrounded by people who are married with children. And because I am who I am, when they come to me for advice or assistance, though I feel unequipped to assist (because I’ve never been where they are) I find myself gagging and handcuffing my fears and insecurities, hiding them in the closet, and helping my friends in whatever way I can manage. Sometimes listening, sometimes babysitting, or sometimes going to buy the ice cream and the Kleenex for a major cry-fest.  

This week, I was struggling again. The fears and insecurities were pushing their way out of the closet even in the midst of me trying to help someone. And on that particular day, I had called my friend, Sherry, to ask a question about something else. Somehow, we got on this topic. And she said something that has haunted me (in a good way) for the rest of the week. So, I’ll share it with you:

God doesn’t want us to be perfect. He wants us to be willing.

 

God doesn’t care if my books or bottles or cans are lined up. He doesn’t mind if my checker is in the center of the square. It doesn’t bother Him that my hair is seven different colors or that I broke my left thumbnail this afternoon. He doesn’t get upset because I sometimes I talk too much or say the wrong things. He’s not offended when I get obsessed and push too hard or when I get too scared and don’t know how hard to push. He loves me just as I am. Imperfect, but willing.

This morning, in Bible study with a sister-friend, we came upon John 21:9-17, which is honestly, one of my favorite scriptures in the entire book. Jesus has died, been resurrected, and appeared to his friends. But the next day, they go right back to their old pre-Jesus lives. When they come in from fishing, Jesus has come back for them yet again. He cooks a meal for them over a charcoal fire (which had been the scene of Peter’s greatest denial of Christ), then He breaks bread with them and welcomes them back into His fellowship.

But even greater to me is what happens next.

He commissions them:

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

 

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

 

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

 

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

 

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

 

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

 

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

 

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

 

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

 

Jesus came back for Peter and said, “Listen, if you love Me, you’ll take care of the folks that I send to you to take care of.” And that’s what God’s done for me, too. I’m pretty imperfect. I go often go back to the old attitudes, the old habits, the old selfishness and misery. But Jesus comes for me, has fellowship with me, and then commissions me all over again to LOVE. To SERVE. To TAKE CARE of the people He has put into my life.

I’m not equipped, but it’s okay. I don’t have to be equipped. I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to be willing.

About Sarah Salter

Comments

  1. Uncle Lee says:

    Good one Sarah.

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Thanks, Uncle Lee! :)

  3. Willingness to answer the call is key. Good stuff Sarah.

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Thanks, Michael! It’s good to see you around here again! :)

  5. I recommission you to come back to my blog! 😛

    Love this post Sarah. Too often we think we have to be perfect instead of just making ourselves available to our perfect God. He uses as we are to do things that are all Him, so that He may receive all the glory.

  6. Sarah Salter says:

    For the record, Dusty, I was back at your blog yesterday!

    I was reading James 1 this morning and being reminded of the day that I won’t lack anything. Meanwhile, all I have to do is give what I do have to Him. When I give what I’ve got to Him, He makes it ‘enough.’

    Thanks, Dusty!

  7. Sounds like we had similar upbringings. You know the one area I was praised for though? Cleaning the kitchen. My siblings and I used to divide up the rooms of the house, but my mom would tell me to do the kitchen because I did it so well. You know the room that I still always start in and usually take care of? The kitchen. It’s powerful what praise will do to a young mind. Sorry, a little beside the point, but I’ve always found that interesting.

    Glad we don’t have to be perfect and He still loves us. What a beautiful grace! Thanks Sarah.

  8. I get this a lot.

    I ask him “Why me?” and he says “Because you answered.”

  9. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason & Sharky- As always, guys, thanks for coming by and sharing!

  10. God so cherishes your willing heart! He takes what you offer and multiplies it to affect many… in His hands.. your life is indeed perfected!

  11. I’m imperfect, but now I’m willing.

    Thank you.

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