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Loving Imperfections

Why is it so hard for Christians to love imperfections in others? Why do we expect everyone to be perfect? Isn’t our relationship with God totally about His love for us in spite of our imperfections? Haven’t Christians experienced an overwhelming state of grace?

Yes, yes, yes…but I have to admit I’m not too cool with the imperfections of others, unless of course I’ve settled it in my mind that the person should receive a little grace. I was engaged in a conversation about the imperfections of a certain person and heard the words I could see what that person was made of. Those words pierced my heart because I too had looked into the soul of that same person of whom the words were spoken and I saw something different. It’s not that I didn’t see the imperfections; I just saw the pain beneath the imperfections. I saw a person in need of grace, guidance and direction. I attempted to respond to these imperfections with love rather than rejection. As imperfections go, the ones this person was dealing with were greater than either rejection or acceptance could heal and that person is no longer in either one of our lives.

Our initial reaction to the imperfections in others is judgment, gossip and rejection. How does that help the person change? When we are gossiping, judging and rejecting, aren’t we just as sinful as the one we judge? We fail to see it that way, but God points this out to us in Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Lest you think I always respond to what is in the heart of a person, I want to let you know that I know this verse well because it was one of the only ones my brother knew, and he quoted it to me often growing up. I’m much better at loving imperfections in non family members, if you know what I mean.

It’s an important lesson for all of us to consider what good will come out of judging imperfections, gossiping about imperfections or rejecting imperfections. Has it ever changed a life? No, only grace changes lives. And then not all lives will be changed.

Isaiah 57:17-23 reveals the reality of the perfect response to imperfections. "I was enraged by his sinful greed; I punished him, and hid my face in anger, yet he kept on in his willful ways. I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him, creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near says the Lord. And I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked." I see the imperfections in others and they make me angry too, but I also want to follow God’s response and in spite of the imperfections that do not respond to my correction keep on seeking healing for that person in prayer if nothing else. Gossiping, judging and rejecting are just too dangerous to my spiritual health.

Lord, how are you so gracious with my imperfections? How could I not be gracious with the imperfections of others?

 

 

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