If I said, “We don’t live in a perfect world.” Almost everyone reading this blog would say, “no!” Some of you would say, “What was your first clue, Sherlock?” Others would say, “Now tell me something I don’t know.” In fact, it would be hard to find anyone on the planet who thinks this world is perfect unless the word “mess” is added after the word “perfect”. One only needs to take a quick look around to realize that this world is broken. In fact, the Bible says that “For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event. So, here’s my question. IF everyone agrees that this world is far from perfect, WHY do so many of us chase perfection trying to attain, to lay hold, of it? We look for the “perfect spouse.” We move from job to job hoping to find the perfect job. We transfer from one college to another hoping to find a “perfect career.” We spend hours and even days looking for our “dream home.” Some people use it as a reason for not attending church. As Christians, we even move from one church to another expecting that we will find the “perfect church.” You’re sitting there right now in your easy chair or at your desk thinking, “You’re right. I always look for perfection. What’s so bad about that?
First, When we are always looking for perfection, it robs us of contentment. If I am living in a two story house but I want a one story ranch house with a built in swimming pool, I will never be content with the two story house I have. Over and over in the Bible we are encouraged to “Be content.” The writer of Hebrews puts it this way. “… be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Until I accept the fact, that everyone and everything in this world are flawed, I will keep looking for perfection in an imperfect world. I am also doomed to wander through life discontented looking for the perfect people and things.
The second problem with this mentality is that it can lead to disillusionment. If you hold out for “Mr. or Mrs. Right”, imagine how you’ll feel when three to five years into a marriage, you discover the flaws in that person you married. You will end up discouraged and disillusioned because no one and nothing is perfect.
Am I saying that we do not need to have standards and strive for the best? NO, of course not! We just need to be aware that at the end of the day life is not perfect and accept some imperfection as what adds character to our life. A few years ago we had a van that we all liked. We decided to use it on a trip to the middle of our state. On the way back, a bear with a death wish jumped the median of the interstate and darted into our lane of traffic. Withing seconds, the Bear was laying in the middle of the throughway dead, and the driver’s side of our poor van was crunched. We drove the vehicle home and got the van fixed, but the panel was black on a brown van. We could have painted the panel to match the rest of the van, but we decided to enjoy the imperfection. What a better Choice than stressing over painting and trying to add another expense! We had a ton of fun explaining how and why the one side of the automobile was a different color. When we allow others whether it’s a spouse, employer, pastor or friends the luxury of being imperfect sinners we may find ourselves enjoying the ride of life a little more. We may be able to celebrate the flaws in those that God puts in our path. We may also discover that we are enjoying the imperfections.