There's no such thing as perfect people. Realizing this does three things for me:
1. It lets me off the hook.
One of the goals of this blog is to keep it real. From the very beginning I have tried to do this. Keeping it real means being willing to admit that I am not perfect. Realizing at a heart level that no one is perfect makes it easier to be transparent. We tend to look at other people and think "They have it all together." No one has it all together. No matter how skinny they are, how big their house is or how big their smile is. We are all struggling with different vices and issues. Not everyone struggles with overeating the way I do, but I know that they are struggling with something. We are all in this together. I don't have to worry about someone else judging me for my shortcomings. They may do that, judge me, but they are only doing that to avoid dealing with their own issues. I should have compassion for that person, not let them dictate my self-worth. Truth be told, other people don't think about me near as much as I assume they do. No one sits around and ponders my failure--only I do that. And why? Why focus on failure? Perfection is not something to be attained. If we are striving for perfection we are going to fail 100% of the time. I'm not saying we shouldn't do our best. I'm just saying perfection isn't an option so we should just take it off the table. When we continually strive for perfection and continually fail we become discouraged and tend to quit. What happens when we take perfection off the table? We fail less and we don't have to quit.
2. It let's other people off the hook
How often have I tried to hold another person to a standard of perfection? That is so unfair. We have to let other people off the hook also. We will destroy every relationship that means anything to us if we expect the other person to be perfect. We will be bitter people if we are waiting for those in our lives to live up to all our expectations. It's a convenient thing to do because we can always play the blame game. We will always have an endless supply of reasons to blame someone else but what good does that do us? Why focus on other people's failure? It will always be there. It's not like people are all of a sudden going to be exactly who we want them to be if we just think about it hard enough. What a big old waste of time. We have to set everyone in our lives free and in doing so, we will find freedom as well.
3. It points to Jesus
I think we can all agree that when we expect others (parents, spouse, friends, children, pastors, bosses, the list goes on...) in our lives to be perfect it just leads to disappointment. And when we depend on ourselves to be perfect it leads to self-absorption, insanity and ultimately defeat. The good news is that we don't have to depend on ourselves to be perfect. Nor do we have to depend on others to be perfect for us. Christ is that for us. By truly accepting this and believing it with all that I am, I have found so much freedom. Freedom to love others and expect nothing in return. Freedom to love myself even in my failure--God does, why shouldn't I?
I know this is an issue for many overweight people. The bondage of perfectionism is holding us back and weighing us down. We are waiting on everything to be just right--the circumstances, our attitude, our pantry, the weather, our relationships... We are waiting on everything to align and then--THEN--we will do this (on Monday, right?). It doesn't work like that. And we know it. Even if you can get all of those things to align just right, they won't stay that way for long. We are going to fall off the wagon. We are going to go a week...a month without exercising. We ARE going to mess up. We are. Okay? Everyone knows that and everyone else is messing up, too. That is what we do. But that is not WHO we are. We are more than that.
I can't put the whole Chapter 8 of Romans in this post, but if you are struggling with what I am talking about please GO READ THIS right now.
And always remember:
There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but are justified freely, by his grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3: 23-24
I love all you messed-up people! ;)