“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
After a long day, I sink down into my couch and let out a sigh of relief, perfectly content with my plans for a relaxed night in. Without even realizing what I’m doing, I pick up my phone and begin to scroll through Instagram, flipping through picture after picture of my friends’ perfectly filtered lives – perfect food, perfect boyfriend, perfectly candid laughing picture.
Somewhere between a sunset and a selfie I let out another sigh, this one of a very different variety. I had been so content with my non-plans and takeout, but they paled in comparison to these brightly colored, perfectly filtered snapshots of my friends’ lives. A nasty little seed of doubt began to work its way through my mind, a little creature that whispered, “Everyone else is having fun, everyone else looks perfect all the time, everyone else has perfect relationships… everyone else but you.”
You know the feeling don’t you? We see our own mess so intimately, a lonely sight when everyone else seems to have it all together.
How easy it is to judge our own outtakes footage by everyone else’s highlight reels! It makes you want to curl up in a ball, to hide your imperfections from the world in shame.
And yet, Christianity means having a Savior who doesn’t baulk at our messes, but runs towards them, embracing everything about us with an always and forever love. This is why Paul says that he can actually boast in his weakness (How crazy is that? Can you imagine boasting in your messes on Instagram?), because the less we make of ourselves, the more we make of Jesus and our need for Him.
Y’all, it sounds so simple, but there’s a world of freedom waiting for you here. Jesus was already perfect in your place, so you can rest in Him and stop frantically trying to look perfect and act perfectly and be perfect! As my campus minister, David Fisk, is famous for saying, “It’s okay that you’re not okay!”
This means that you can completely shift the way you look at yourself. As Christians, we don’t have to drown in guilt for our mess or fight to raise ourselves high in pride for how well we’re covering it up.
You are a beloved daughter of the King whose sins have been paid for in full. This means that when you mess up (as we all do on an hourly basis) you can take a deep breath, repent, and rest in your unchanging status as a child of God.
You are His, and while your sin may sadden Him, it doesn’t come as a shock. Because of what Jesus did, when the Creator of the world looks at you, He doesn’t see all those imperfections, but instead His son’s perfect life. No matter how you appear to the world or yourself, in His eyes, you are his beloved daughter in whom he is well pleased – and that’s something to boast about!