“Nobody’s perfect.” This is our go-to saying when we want to downplay a mistake. What we may not realize when we’re passing off our imperfections is how important these are to not dismiss, but instead to embrace and hold close as an integral aspect of our path to holiness.
When we experience failure, we instinctively want to distance ourselves from that. Yet we know that Jesus loved imperfect people (“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!” Luke 15:2) and surrounded Himself with disciples whose faults were often on display. Jesus Himself did not have to be like us, yet God clearly considered that part important, making human a Son who would experience the messiness of life just as we do.
“I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
(2 Corinthians 12:10)
We consider our mistakes unsightly and unlovable, and we come by this naturally. But as we work our way through, we can recognize—perhaps later looking back— that we were actually on some pretty holy ground back there. Struggling to come to grips with our own imperfections, working through facets of ourselves by looking at them head-on, we can see that what is really happening is not all negative, but an opportunity for inspiration and growth. It is a chance to turn back to God and draw on His strength within us, to become even more of who we are meant to be in this life. Properly embraced and understood, our imperfections make us more resilient and give us the ability to better empathize, accept, and forgive ourselves and others.
Here too, amid our imperfections, is where God lavishes His love and compassion. We may not feel these every step of the way, but by turning back to God, pausing to take a good look at what we’re dealing with about ourselves, we can actually find much more love, for ourselves and others. This is the deep kind of love that leads to deeper meaning and satisfaction with life, infused with strength, humility, and gratitude.