Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Progress, Not Perfection

Perfection sounds so lovely. To never make a mistake or wonder what I need to do next or question how to handle a certain situation. Or to never need any help from anyone, not even God...oh wait. Maybe that's the problem with being perfect? 

In no part of life will I attain perfection. Certainly not in my appearance; it's only going to age. Definitely not in my abilities for there will always be somebody (way) better. And I mess up plenty; it helps keep me humble. I will never be perfect with my relationships; there will always be plenty of opportunities to ask for forgiveness.

So perfection is out. We know that God is the only Perfect. Now one day in heaven I will be like Him. But down here I have sin and my old nature to combat. Hence no perfection. In anything. 

That sounds depressing but really it's not.  If perfection isn't possible, God's not asking it. So I don't need to ask it of myself. Let go of perfection. It doesn't matter at all. Nobody has ever been perfect and God has used a lot of nobody's. 

So what am I going for? Progress. I want to make progress. Some days I can't see any progress. I occasionally have days, weeks, months even when I can't see any progress at all. Hopefully not in all areas at once but at least in one or two. 

Of course in my life it's harder to chart progress than it would be in some areas or jobs. In school for instance progress is finishing assignments, completing work, passing classes. At some jobs you complete more training and finish your work. In mine, well, it's a little less structured. But I want to be making progress even if it's unnoticeable to me.

-Progress in my walk with Christ. Learning more of the Bible. Surrendering so He can live it out through me. It's not enough to chart days of Bible reading or minutes of prayer because this is a heart issue. I want my heart to be closer to Jesus each day. 

-Progress as a wife. I want to learn my husband. Encourage him to be him. Pray for him. Nurture my marriage; invest in it. I want to grow closer to my husband and not farther away. 

-Progress as a mother/teacher. I want to discipline more consistently/calmly. I want to love deeper. Be less irritated, more creative. Teach them on their level. Stifle my expectations. 

-Progress on the piano. I want to be a better pianist than I was two months ago. Sometimes I can see that and sometimes I can't but I know to just keep practicing. This is an area that I know I'm improving in even if I can't see it. 

Of course there are other areas I want to progress in but you get the idea. The same goes for your life. Where do you want to make progress? Maybe it's a spot where you would prefer perfection but remember, we aren't perfect.  Change what you need to change and keep working. You will eventually see the progress. 

But please, let go of that "perfect." 

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