Sweeping accumulated love bugs (a southern affliction at least as displeasing as the humidity) out of my screened in porch in preparation for a new friend who was coming to dinner, I thought…
“Maybe I should have waited to invite her over until this space was just perfect.”
As soon as we moved in, I started dreaming about sprucing up that space. I completed a couple of planned projects, including a “chandelier” from Pinterest using a hula hoop, a string of icicle Christmas lights and some fabric strips. But not all of them. Perhaps I will actually post a craft blog on the project one of these days… but, I digress. It is already a place I find to be peaceful and serene, that will be even better when the heat is relieved a little here.
But, I’m not finished with it yet. It hasn’t become the MASTERPIECE I envision yet.
All the undone things along with the accumulation of love bugs out there that morning, gave me second thoughts about inviting company over.
Of the the things I discovered by Starting Over with the Army so many times, is that if you wait too long to start inviting people into your life, you can lose out. Not just for me, but also for those around me, routines are established and people find their niche, sometimes making it harder to connect.
If you wait for perfection, you might miss out.If you wait for perfection, you might miss out. @LizGiertz Click To Tweet
Have you ever hesitated to invite people to your home because it wasn’t perfect? Maybe the curtains weren’t hung, or the pictures weren’t level yet. Perhaps you are held back by the appearance of your surroundings, you wish you had nicer furniture, or that your children didn’t leave their toys all over the house, maybe you just didn’t make the beds that morning. It might even be something you don’t like about yourself holding you back.
Whatever it is, we tend to wait to invite people in to our lives until we’ve reached some level of perfection because we fear their judgement. We don’t want to broadcast our inability to live up to some external standard of perfection. I’m here to tell you that putting your life on hold until you reach perfection is living in vain.
As I’ve been reading through the old testament these last few months, I can’t help but think that these unattainable standards we lay upon ourselves must be somewhat like how it felt to be the Israelites living under the law. Despite having received the rules and standards straight from God Himself and seeing His awesome power displayed in the mighty miracles of that day, they still failed time and time again to live up to the expectations set before them. Even Moses who is held in such high esteem even to this day, fell short of the mark. God did not allow him to enter the promised land, even for all his faithful service to the people of Israel as they fled Egyptian oppression and wandered in the desert.
That is why God sent his very own Son to earth, so that we could escape life lived in vain chasing after unattainable perfection. Instead, we freely accept the gift of the promised land by our belief that we cannot be good enough to get there on our own, so Jesus took our sins upon Himself and died on the cross so we could enter into Heaven with Him. Our perfection is found only after our death and resurrection in Heaven. There is no perfection here on earth and God not only accepts that, He uses it as the principal for us to base our reliance on Christ alone.Our perfection is found only after our death and resurrection in Heaven. @LizGiertz Click To Tweet
If even the Israelites had been able to achieve perfection under the law, we would’t need Jesus, and heaven would likely be a lonely place, “For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” Romans 3:23. Thankfully, the story, our story, doesn’t end there. Romans 3:24 says we are, “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
I don’t want to earn my friends by having the cleanest house or perfect children, by being the fittest person on the block with the healthiest recipes, or the most fashionable. As hard as this is to say, I don’t even want to be known as the most creative lady on the block. Because I will likely run myself ragged trying to live up to that expectation, yet inevitably some day, I will fail.
I will get caught eating Ben and Jerry’s from the pint container or brown sugar straight from the bag. I will put lemon juice instead of lime in my guacamole. I will burn the bread or under-cook the pork. My kids will embarrass me. Somebody will witness me loafing in a work out. There will be crumbs and dog hair on the floor. I might be wearing the same outfit the last time I ran into you or perhaps have food in my teeth. And, *gasp* some of my craft projects will be serious failures. I would prefer they get to know my heart, accept my flaws and love me anyway.Don't run yourself ragged trying to live up to unattainable standards of perfection. @LizGierz Click To Tweet
Maybe, they will love me all the more for my imperfections, because they have already accepted their own. I would like nothing better than to have a bunch of friends who embrace their flaws, faults and failures…my MESSY friends.
Just as we wouldn’t wait until we are perfect to accept Jesus, don’t wait until your life is perfect to invite new friends in.
Either delay would be missing the point and make connecting with either Jesus or friends, more complicated. Don’t miss out on the freedom and joy that comes from living in grace, not just in Jesus, but also in friendship.
Are you missing out on something because your messy life is holding you back? Be brave and invite somebody to see your flaws today!