Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you are to be perfect [“teleios”] as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Truth be told, not all candy corn is created equal. There are brands out there that taste more of wax and tallow than sugary goodness. And there are some that you can almost feel your teeth shatter with the sweetness. But for at least one day a year, I remember the time my mom put three kernels of Brachs Candy Corn on our plates at Thanksgiving.
We sat around the table as she explained that we were to use the three kernels to represent three different things that we were thankful for. She put no stipulations or rules on it other than that we were all going to participate or there would be no meal. She may be short in stature but she’s a firecracker!
I don’t remember how old I was when this happened, but I remember thinking I had to come up with something PERFECT. I wanted my three things to be so wonderful, so awe-inspiring that they would cause my family to tear up (I must have been a teenager… bless).
Anyway, when it came down to it, I bombed. I put so much pressure on myself to say the exact right thing, and in the end, I said nothing. Well, nothing noteworthy.
If you’re like me, and I know I am, perfectionism is both your blessing and your bane. So for what feels like forever, I’ve let this one verse dog me into believing that perfectionism meant I was trying to be more PERFECT like my heavenly Father, rather than what the original Greek word “teleios” means: complete.
How much wonder lies in the balance between perfect and complete?
At times, I have missed “the gifts of imperfection” that Brené Brown talks about in her book of the same title. Brown says, “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
On a practical, everyday level, acknowledging the imperfections in you – and the ones in me – gives us hope that He’s not done! We’re not complete; we’re still a work in progress.
So when I see that chip in your china (or, more likely) when you see it in mine, let’s be vulnerable and real; let’s call that imperfection the gift that it is. The chip in my china means we’ve used it before at other meals, with other faces, sharing the gift of company around my table.
What if we start to look at those imperfections as little nods, little winks that point to the fact that God isn’t quite finished with either of us, and that they give us a common reason to give thanks for what they are, and for what God is making us into.
When my kids are going off the rails at the grocery and acting like heathens, and you wink at me, it will be our very own little sign. When, in the holiday picture, my family’s bright-colored, mismatched outfits cause me to use the black-and-white filter, you just wink at this year’s card. Remember, it’s our little solidarity agreement.
Together, we will be practically imperfect in every way – and made complete in Him.
About the Author: KariAnn Lessner blogs at lessnerismore.com. She is a wife, momma, friend, minister for children and families, spotty-blogger, fairy-Godmother to many, drinker of tea and seeker of chips & salsa.