Tag Archives: confessions

Sunday Inspiration: I’m NOT Perfect…but that’s no excuse

20 Mar

Not sure what’s up with the tree covered hill in the video…but I just wanted the song…

Public Service Announcement:  I am not perfect.  I curse like a sailor (usually when I’m alone and no one can hear it), I’m a champion procrastinator, and I dislike being wrong more than I dislike monkeys, roaches, veggies, and the color orange.  I’m impatient and stubborn; I can be insensitive and incompassionate.  My left foot is bigger than my right.

I am human.  We all are.

Everybody has a set of flaws that they carry around with them like a grocery list.  Everybody has that one or two or seven things that they know they need to work on.  We all carry the banner of imperfection, however, some of us are waving it a little harder than others.  I’m going to try and say what I’ve got to say with tact and brevity:  do not allow your humanity to overcome your humility.

Now what the heck do I mean by that?  Well, two things, really.  Allow me to get all lexicographical for a moment.  Humanity (in a nutshell, a really small one) is basically human nature.  A simple definition of humility would be the that is the opposing virtue to the vice/sin of pride.  A better definition (per the definition I just looked up) is, “the quality of being modest, reverential, even politely submissive, and never being arrogant, contemptuous, rude or even self-abasing.”  Within that definition of humility are two opposite ends of the pride spectrum:  arrogance and despair. 

On one hand, you have the arrogance that comes from believing that being human gives you a free pass to act a fool.  There are some people who feel like they are exempt from having to behave themselves, above the rules so to speak, because “everybody makes mistakes.”  You know the ones…God forgive me for what I’m about to do.    Uh, come again?  God’s mercy endures forever, but He has mercy on whom He will.  Making a mistake is one thing.  The intent to sin, well that’s another matter entirely.  That’s a form of arrogance, plain and simple.  Yes…we’re all going to mess up.  That does not mean that you should not take care to try and curb those bad habits and do whatever you can in your power to move past the things that hinder you.  That’s the equivalent of refusing to take baths on the grounds that you’re only going to get dirty again.  Like my grandma says:  holiness is right.  I’m not saying go out and buy one of them floor sweeping skirts or do something extreme.  Holiness isn’t about appearance.  It’s about making a lifelong commitment to separate yourself from the things that can and will impede your direction and dedication when it comes to the Kingdom.  And I know I’m the pot calling the kettle black.  There are a lot of things that I personal need to remove from my life and I know that I will die having never fully gotten rid of them all.  However, I will not let that be an excuse for not trying.  It’s a long process.  I’ve got to die daily.  It’s not easy and I’m going to mess up more than I get right.

On the other hand, there is despair.  A word about despair:  a professor of mine told me once that the highest – and most dangerous – form of despair is pride.  Despair is the loss of hope, the feeling that whatever it is that you’ve done is something that you can’t or won’t be forgiven for.  This is a form of pride because you have allowed your self and your sin to become bigger than God.  The second half of that definition I mentioned earlier talks about “self-abasement,” which is (from the same source), “Self-abasement is voluntary self-punishment or humiliation in order to atone for some real or imagined wrongdoing.”  I have a few issues with the idea of self-punishment.  For starters, it sort of is a slap in the face of the Crucifixion, which was the ultimate sacrifice/payment for our sins.  It’s like saying that what Jesus did is enough for what you’ve done – again, despair.  Sometimes we allow our humanity, our human nature and the fact that we are imperfect to effect us to the point that we take ourselves out of commission.  We feel like we can’t be used by God.  We feel like we can’t go to God even in prayer.  That’s a dangerous, dangerous place to be.  As I stated in another post, God has used imperfect people in spite (or perhaps because) of their sin. 

The moral of the story is this:  you are bound to fall.  When you fall, you have three options:  make excuses, lay there, or get up and keep going.  It’s really that simple.  Nobody’s perfect and no one ever will be.  God isn’t asking us to be perfect.  He’s just asking us to keep pressing toward the mark.

Have a good Sunday, everybody!