If you woke up to a stack of crusty dishes piled up in the sink, you are not a failure.
If you forgot to put the laundry in the dryer and the clothes all got sour in the washer, you are not a failure.
If your kids threw a fit at the store, refusing to obey you, you are not a failure.
If you said something stupid, hurt someone’s feelings, forgot an important commitment, burned dinner, broke a special plate, spilled an entire bottle of something expensive, lost your phone, or overslept, you are not a failure. You are normal though, so hi! Welcome to the club.
It’s too easy for us to look at what we did or did not do, how our kids did or did not act, and what did or did not happen – letting each act and experience define our success or failure.
Why is this? Is it possible that somehow, even though we all know it isn’t true, we all think that we (and everyone around us) should be perfect? Even if we may not consider ourselves to be perfectionists, deep down, we still want life to be perfect. We don’t want anything to go wrong, to annoy us, or to be inconvenient. We want our spouse, our kids, our friends, our homes, our jobs, our health, and every single person we deal with to be perfect. When they aren’t – yes that’s when, not if – when they aren’t, we feel as if we’ve failed or as if other people have failed us.
The truth is, we will never, ever in this fallen world achieve or experience anything close to perfection. There is much good in the world, because God is everywhere around us, showing us His goodness. But there’s also a lot of yuck in the world because Satan wants to win our hearts. He enjoys watching our discouragement and bitterness. He loves it when he can take our focus off God and turn us inward, making us focus on our supposed failures. Ah yes, if Satan can keep our minds thinking selfishly, he wins. That’s his goal.
But guess what? This desire for perfection we all feel so strongly? That is God given. God wants us to seek to find that which is perfect. Why? Why would He give us that desire when clearly there is no way we can achieve perfection on this earth? He gives us this desire because He is perfection and He wants us to seek Him. Jesus. Jesus is perfection. That’s really what we should be looking for.
Keep lovingly taking care of your family and home. Keep yearning to be more Christ-like. But let go of the guilt that comes through your lack of perfection and supposed failure. Focus on Jesus, the One who fulfills that need for perfection we all long for.
Crusty dishes in the sink? Yep, there they are. Gonna be late to an appointment? Sometimes, sure enough. People getting in your way and causing you trouble? Well, of course.
This earth is only temporary. This isn’t it, people. Perfection? It’s coming! I can’t wait.