I have seen an epidemic sweeping across our nation.
It may not cause fevers, but it causes depression. It may not cause headaches, but it causes division. It may not cause sore throats, but it causes fake smiles. It may not call for a doctor visit, but it does call for revival.
This is the epidemic of perfectionism.
Ever since I was a child, I have been an overachiever. A perfectionist. I feared failing, so I would constantly strive to do more and be more to prevent being seen as a failure. I would cover up my imperfections and shortcomings with a smile or a hearty handshake on Sunday mornings so no one knew that I didn’t measure up to all I was supposed to be.
After all, that’s what I saw everyone else doing, wasn’t it?
My Christian friends in church or youth group always kept the superficial smiles on their faces while talking about all the happy things. No one ever talked about the hard, imperfect things.
Instead of feeling like a safe haven to be real about my imperfections, on Sunday mornings I felt the need to measure up to this invisible standard of perfectionism that everyone else was portraying. It made me feel depressed and divided from everyone around me.
And then there was social media. Scrolling through my news feed and seeing the posts with smiling faces or grand accomplishments, I would feel more alone in my imperfection than I wanted to admit.
Everyone always seemed to have it all together and acted like the perfect Christian. But what about me? I surely didn’t have it all together, even if it was hard to admit. Sometimes I didn’t even want to worship or praise God in the hard stuff. And sometimes I held onto my own silent sins tighter than I really wanted to.
Was I the only one? Looking around at the smiling faces on Sunday morning or the happy messages on Instagram, I felt forced to wear my own façade too. The façade of perfectionism in a world that is so imperfectly broken.
You see, in a world so desperate for something real, the only way to be honest is to let others see our imperfections.In a world so desperate for something real, the only way to be honest is to let others see our imperfections. Click To Tweet
The truth is that none of us have it all together. The truth is that all of us have our “moments.” The truth is that we all suffer from the disease of sin. Romans 3:10 says, “As it is written: None is righteous, no, not one.”
Since no one is perfect, why do we try so hard to act like we are?
Being real and vulnerable about our shortcomings and imperfections is hard, I know. But what could happen if we fought against the epidemic of perfectionism with the medicine of being real? What could happen if we joined together as a community on Sunday morning to say, “You know, I’m not perfect, but let’s strive to be more like Jesus together”? What could happen if we started caring less about the perfect smiles and started caring more about being there for each other in the tears and struggles too?
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)
God doesn’t want you to put on that smile and pretend you’ve got it all together so that He can use you. He wants to use your weaknesses and your imperfections. He wants to use you as you are, even though He doesn’t want to leave you there.God wants to use you as you are, even though He doesn't want to leave you there. Click To Tweet
So where are the imperfect Christians who are willing to stand up and declare that they aren’t perfect, but God isn’t finished with them yet?
Drop the façade and walk away from the epidemic. Join the ranks of the imperfect.
Can all the imperfect Christians please stand up?