Author: Keilah Tawney (Bradley H.S.)
“Do your best”. Many people in my life tell me this and that my effort is what is most important. I believe my “best” should be 100 percent, but why don’t I achieve perfection in everything? Am I not trying hard enough? Not putting in enough time? Not capable? I find myself in a constant battle to be amazing at everything I am involved in. I need to be a leader, I need to set a good example, I need to be perfect at every rhythm and note, and I need to get all A’s. Is this where God wants me? The truth is: I don’t ace every test, I don’t get first chair in band, I don’t always get the parts I audition for, and there is always someone who seems to be better than me. Does this mean I should quit? Why would God want me to fail? My failures can make me want to work harder at times, but they also can make me want to quit. How does God use my failures? Why do I mess up so often? These questions often fill my head and can start to drown me out. I start to feel stressed and like nothing I do is good enough, but life isn’t about perfection.
The answers to my questions are found in God’s word.
- “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 3:12-14
In this passage, Paul talks about how he is not perfect. As humans, we cannot be perfect because we are sinful beings that need Jesus. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in mistakes and want to give up or look down upon ourselves because we should have done better. Paul challenges us to forget the past and not dwell on our failures. Instead, we need to persevere, to continue to look to the future, to keep giving God the glory, and to keep trying.
In the Bible, God uses different people to accomplish his goals. Often, God doesn’t use those who are the most equipped or the ones that never seem to mess up. God chooses regular people who make mistakes. He wants to choose us too and we can’t let the fear of failure hold us back. Even when we mess up God still cares and still wants to have a relationship with us.
- “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Corinthians 12:9-10
God has given us freedom and through his grace we can display his strength and his power. Life isn’t about our own strength or our own power, but we rely on God in everything and give him the glory. Our imperfections and weaknesses provide an opportunity for us to lean on Christ & for his strength to shine through us if we let him. So don’t get caught up in being perfect on your own because it’s impossible.
I don’t have to sit first chair in band or get all A’s. Instead through my imperfection I trust in Christ and depend on him throughout my struggles. I walk through each day working to love others in the way Christ has called me and I don’t do it perfectly, but I keep trying and am growing closer to our Savior. We need Jesus in our lives and the power of the Holy Spirit to help shape & mold our lives. Perfection isn’t the goal in life, we need to be loving God & loving others. Live for Christ and his plan because it is much more satisfying than our own agenda.
Text: © 2017 LCC- F.R.O.G. Youth Ministry. Used with author’s permission.