(Photo by Selma Komisky)
How To: Choosing Grace Over Perfection
By Amber Johnson
Logging in to any social media platform, it’s easy to get lost in the images of so-called perfection. Daily, we’re bombarded with impossible standards.
It’s easy to lose sight of our genuine worth as human beings when the world wants to tell us that we’re only valued when we look, say, buy, or do certain things.
The world pushes perfection through its own distorted lens of impossible standards. But God pushes grace through His perfect Son, Jesus.
We need more grace and not more impossible standards.
How can we learn to give ourselves real grace in a world that demands perfection?
1) Accept that I am human, and I’m not perfect. We first have to fully embrace that perfection is impossible. Jesus Christ is the only one who walked perfectly on this earth. When we’re able to fully embrace our humanity, our standards begin to shift. We learn to accept ourselves, flaws and all. We begin to truly appreciate our God-given qualities and uniqueness.
2) Seek God for understanding your true value. We are accepted and valued simply because God chose to love us in His grace (2 Tim. 1:9). When we add caveats to our value, “I’m more valuable when I get good grades”, “I’m only accepted when I’m on time”, “I’m only loved when I make good decisions”, it cheapens what love really is. It’s much harder to give ourselves grace when we fail at the perfect standards we’ve built up in our minds.
Condemning ourselves and negative self-talk are not from God. These are tactics our enemy, the devil, uses to prevent us from seeking and accepting the truth about our value. We are not valued because we are perfect by saying or doing the right thing, we are valued because God has chosen to love us and value us (Ephesians 2:8). Changing ourselves to fit an unhealthy, worldly standard will only lead to more frustration. When we seek the Lord, we learn who we are truly called to be. We must lean on Him to walk in that calling.
3) Meditate on what God has done for you. Worship and praise God for all He has done! When we turn our focus from ourselves to what God has done for us, our perspective shifts. The gift of Jesus is incredible! This gift is undeserved and honestly, it’s hard from a human standpoint to fully appreciate and understand God’s grace. Our world is fixated on attaining worth and perfection through works, but God’s grace and love are not based on those things (2 Tim. 1:9). How amazing is He! How can we hold ourselves to a standard that is different from God’s? God gives us grace abundantly when we turn to Him. We are not beyond His grace. If we love Jesus, we are forgiven and can walk in the freedom of undeserved grace and mercy of God. Hallelujah!
4) Cry out to your Heavenly Father. If you are struggling with perfection or just giving yourself more grace, simply pray. Our God is relational and wants to know our struggles. God is a healer. When we open up our hearts to Him, He directs us in ways beyond our understanding that allow us to heal.
When we’ve bought in to a lie for so long, it takes time to break free from that bondage. God wants to re-wire your heart and mind so that you understand how valuable you are. Let’s strip off the weightiness of impossible standards and put on the grace of God.