You know those times when one phrase that falls off the lips of another person can literally feel like the words rolled off their lips punched in you the face?
Ok, well maybe that’s just me. I was sitting with her and she said, “Lu be a woman of excellence and not a woman of perfection.” This one was like a one, two combo…jab….uppercut, it tosses me back on my heels but I regain my footing, get my hands up and I’m ready to go again. But those words…they are ringing in my head…over and over and over. The bells rings and this girl is forever changed.
So the other night I’m chatting with a friend on the phone and I was encouraging her I just said, “be a woman of excellence not a perfection.” Her response…she was a little frustrated, but she says to me, “what does that even mean.” So I quickly respond with a well duh of course it means stop trying to be perfect and just be excellent tone of voice. As I got off the phone though I knew what it meant, but began to wonder geez…what does that really mean???
So as I usually do I used my handy dandy dictionary and went to the literal definitions.
Excellent: Very good of its kind : eminently good. First class: of the highest quality.
Perfection: Freedom from fault or defect, being entirely without fault
Gosh I love the word excellent but how often very good of my kind is not who I am or how I function…first class….depends on who’s the judge. But I really love the word. I want to be good, I want to be the highest quality woman that I can be. I want to live a life of excellence, right and please before the Lord.
And then we are on to perfection….with out fault or blemish….well I have several junior high size blemishes on my face right now so that pretty much excludes me. WITHOUT FAULT OR BLEMISH, BEING ENTIRELY WITHOUT FAULT…are you reading this? How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m just a perfectionist”? Well I know I have said it more times that I would like to admit and now I sit here writing this feeling awfully silly.
We were made in God’s image, perfect in all ways, but then that thing called sin entered the world and that all went out the window. We are finite and fallen humans who are wicked at our core. Newsflash Lu, you’re not a perfectionist…you are imperfect human who fumbles and fails around every single corner. Perfection is not in the cards for us. It’s not actually possible for we have been separated from God through our sin so we cannot be without blemish or fault. Jesus was the only man to ever walk the earth who was perfect in all his ways.
I don’t know about you but this is a very freeing idea going on as I type. I’m not perfect, nor can I ever be perfect which means two things…First, I don’t have to continue to try and be perfect. Secondly, and maybe most importantly I can stop expecting others to be perfect. WOW….shackles and chains….yep you don’t bind me anymore!!! Because in all of this grace abounds. It abounds every time and boy am I glad. I’m going to say more about this in part two…but for now