Today I'm sharing a portion of my new book Simply Jesus: Because Hindsight Shows You He Is All You Ever Needed. All the words are free but today is the last day. So snag a free copy and I'll leave you alone once the price is back to $0.99 -- it's just the giving that's so fun. Below you'll find the beginning of chapter seven: The Problem of Perfect. Download all. the. words. for. free. right here. So much love.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve strived for perfection. Whether for straight A’s in school, maintaining a pristine driving record, or dating with precision, I expected I could navigate perfection into my whole life. I read all the books, took notes on all the sermons, and poured out my plans in journal after journal. If anyone was ready for life, I was.
It is certainly far less shocking to you than it has been to me that my plan was flawed. I have in no way achieved perfection over the span of my Christian life. At varying times, due to the lingering imperfection in my own heart, the misguided instruction I’ve received from people who mean well, the simple existence of gray areas, and the impossibility of both knowing and doing all the right things at all the right times, I have failed. Hugely.
Boys will be the example I use here, but there is a Truth about perfection that we have to find for all of life, for every temptation. This Truth answers all the questions. How far is too far? Why not just borrow a few answers from last year’s test? What difference does a tiny lie make?
This Truth will also lay to waste our hopes of being good enough or earning the good life. Sometimes life sucks; sometimes it’s all our fault. And most of the time, we’re not as great as we think we are. So in light of my own confused attempts at perfection, I’m compelled to lovingly stab you in the front with this one:
Keeping the rules will not be enough to failsafe your life, but Jesus—the Truth—will be.
This Truth of continued imperfection slays our preconceived notions of purity, dating, and being ready for marriage; but it also applies to our college essays, job searches, spats with parents, and conflict with friends. Yes, the Truth will tear us down, but it will also build us back up in the incomparable love of Jesus.
So I’ll use the example of boys for two reasons. First, I thought all my head-knowledge and rules would make me awesome at dating, but they did not. And second, I really thought I could earn a wonderful marriage when I wanted it, but I could not.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it . . . how often did I sing those words wholeheartedly because of the boys on my mind? I dated three of them. Those three ex-boyfriends have come to represent different eras of my practical and relational theology of perfect.
(…yep, the rest of the story–>Simply Jesus.)