Perfection and Grace

perfection-or-successSo… I’ve got to rant a little. There is no such thing as perfection in this life! One can always get a little more done, the service can always be better, and you can always find a flaw or imperfection in all things… so why should I rate anyone or anything a perfect 10?

Recently, we were asked to fill out one of those customer satisfaction surveys and it was made very clear that anything below 10s would cause trouble. Really? I have a hard time giving anything or anyone… especially myself… straight 9s, much less 10s! As I thought about it, though, the word “grace” came to mind. I came to the conclusion that they were doing well, they had been perfect… well as least as perfect as we humans can be and they deserved to be rated high! By the way, part of that reflection included doing some soul searching myself on how imperfect I really am and thinking who am I, an imperfect person, to expect true perfection out of someone else? So… it made me think even more about my relationship with my family and friends.

I realized that at times I’ve been pretty hard on people… expecting true perfection when it just wasn’t possible and then getting frustrated, disappointed and impatient. How about you? Have you found yourself expecting perfection out of your spouse and kids… and finding yourself disappointed? Maybe you’ve done it to yourself. I know I have. Beating myself up for not being a better dad, husband, employee or pastor.  That word “grace” keeps surfacing…

Jesus showed the perfect way of grace. He came to us while we were still sinners… undeserving, broken, rebellious, apathetic, pathetic humans with no chance of ever being able to measure up to God’s standard of perfection. Jesus came anyway. Jesus gave His life anyway. Jesus showed grace… free and unmerited favor. Isn’t that what we’ve been asked to do so others can know Him? Imperfect people giving other imperfect people grace…

But Gerry… isn’t that what’s gotten us in trouble? People getting trophies for just showing up? Hear me out on this… I’m not proposing that we look the other way when people don’t try, don’t care, don’t at least attempt to do well. But wait a second… that doesn’t even sound right. God showed us grace when we were trying to get away from Him… trying to do everything opposite of His perfect will. So what do we do? Maybe show a little more grace to our families, to ourselves when it isn’t all perfect.

I guess this is a really gray area. I don’t know all the answers but what I do know is “grace” is something beautiful. Grace, when applied well, heals, encourages, lifts a burden and is… well… just beautiful. So, what I do know is that this imperfect person is going to try to err on the side of grace more than I’ve ever done before.

By the way… I gave them all 10s.

-Gerry

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