3 min read
Much of what we do in life revolves around a single goal: The quest to gain approval.
We strive at work each day hoping our boss notices us and rewards us with a raise or promotion.
We strive at home hoping our spouse notices our efforts and tells us how much we are appreciated.
We strive at school hoping the teacher gives us a good grade for our hard work.
At the office, at home, or in the classroom, we all make an effort to prove ourselves.
What if we stopped fighting to be first and best and started making peace with the fact that we’re all imperfect people?
Think about how many things we do every day to be noticed; to get the last word; to be in the middle of the action. What if we stopped fighting to be first and best and started making peace with the fact that we’re all imperfect people?
"Making peace with your sinful self," a phrase coined by Brennan Manning in The Ragamuffin Gospel, isn’t about excusing sin. It’s about recognizing we are all sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we can quit striving for perfection and start resting in the perfection of Jesus.
Living out of that simple truth makes us the safest people for others to talk to and the most effective people at sharing the grace of the Gospel.
Discovering this freedom leads to transformation in at least three ways:
People who have made peace with their imperfection are free to love others.
Instead of looking down on others from a seat of self-righteousness, they live alongside one another with a selfless spirit. They listen because they know they have a lot to learn. They sympathize because they are fully aware they don't have it all together. They don’t judge people for what they have done but instead love people for who they are becoming (John 13:34-35, Galatians 5:13, and 1 Peter 4:8).
People who have made peace with their brokenness are humbly aware of their need for God’s mercy.
They know they aren't where they need to be, but they also aren't where they used to be. They know God is the only one who can take their broken pieces and make their lives into masterpieces. They know God isn’t afraid to reach down into their mess because he wants to turn the mess into a message (John 3:16, Psalm 86:5, and Ephesians 2:1-10).
People who have made peace with their sinful selves live in peace.
They know when God looks at them, He doesn't see their mess but rather the Messiah. God doesn't see their sinfulness but instead the sinless Savior. He doesn't see their imperfection, only the perfection of the Son (Colossians 3:15, Philippians 4:7, and 1 Peter 5:7).
The good news is you can quit striving to prove yourself and start resting in the truth that you have already been proven worthy through Jesus.