One of my resolutions for 2016 was to let go of my need for perfection and control over my own life and instead choose to walk in freedom. I recently realized that I have been living my life as though I believe two lies in particular:
- I can be perfect if I just try hard enough.
- I am only lovable when I am perfect.
As one might guess, these impossible standards make life difficult to enjoy. And they are so the opposite of the gospel!
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8 (ESV)
Christ died for the ungodly; he did not die for the almost-there-but-not-quite, or the will-be-like-God-on-their-own-someday, but those who are absolutely nothing like God. He sacrificed himself for those who distort God’s good gifts and often worship creation more than their Creator. The fact that we are so loved despite our sinfulness is an incredible and sweet truth! Yet even as a follower of Christ, I have made a habit of trying to create my own “goodness” instead of embracing the pure, true goodness of my Savior.
This year, though, I will continue to wrestle my flesh’s desire for what I consider to be earthly perfection. I will choose to fix my eyes on the only one who is truly perfect. And when gazing upon his beauty and holiness reveals just how ugly I am, I will not retreat, hide, or believe that it means I am not wanted. I will let myself be wrapped in true love and washed by the blood of my Savior. Secure and filled with joy, I will follow God as he leads me wherever he wishes, for his paths are much better than any I could dream up.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
Life is much sweeter when lived this way. If our God is good and in control, which he definitely is, then we are so free.
This morning, my Practicing the Art of Adventure journal encouraged me to write my very own Psalm to the Lord. I love the Psalms! At first I wasn’t sure where to begin, but I was quickly surprised by how the rhythm of this beloved book appeared in my own writing. What I wrote is a reflection of my desire for living a life of adventure and surrender this year instead of perfection. I hope it will encourage some to worship God in a new way today!
To the LORD, my strength and comfort:
When my mind insists that I am on my own
and my heart turns to worship the created,
I will instruct my soul to sing praises to the Almighty,
to the Creator of every breath.
When my situation feels too much to bear
and my own expectations overwhelm me,
I will run to the LORD for peace.
I will not worry; I will sing.
The God over all things is perfect in lovingkindness.
He does not keep tally of my wrongs or cast me out in disappointment;
therefore, I will follow after his leading.
His strong and gentle hand will guide me.
My ears will hear his whispers among the clamor;
my eyes, his beauty among the chaos.
I will not flee; I will stay and be loved.