I used to hide behind the façade of perfection. I longed to be “error-free” in every area of my life. As I went about my days interacting with those around me, I made plenty of mistakes. I said the wrong thing. I reacted instead of responding. I judged. I was critical and unloving. Criticism from anyone else felt overwhelming because I had already beat myself up from the sheer fact that I was still a work in progress. I wanted so badly to “arrive” and to be made complete. My heart longed for the day when this perfection I sought would be mine.
I couldn’t imagine what would happen if others found out I was not perfect.
This façade of perfectionism left me endlessly striving to be something and someone I was not. It set me up against a bar that was unattainable and therefore I always fell short.
I was not perfect. I am not perfect. I made mistakes. I continue to make mistakes. Daily.
Because I am and idiot? NO!!
Because I am human.
And the good work that God has started in me is not yet complete.
Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
At the end of the day the façade of perfection was only a façade to me. I was the only one fooled to believe that living perfectly in action, word and deed was possible in this life.
God is the standard for perfection. And while it is often more comfortable to hide behind the façade of perfection, growth happens through the confronting of my mistakes. Mistakes, the dirty laundry of life, are the standard because I am human.
“Dirty laundry” is not a bad thing, it’s a fact of life. It’s simply an admission of recognizing humanness, and that God is still at work. I would go so far to say that mistakes, “dirty laundry” of life, left untended begin to leave stains. The dirty laundry – just as in our day to day life – must be tended to. The mistakes must be taken to the wash machine of our faith – Jesus – and let Him cleanse them so that we do not have to life behind the façade of perfection but live “made clean” by the washing of his cleansing blood.
We all make mistakes, just like we all dirty laundry. But each of us has a choice what we will do with the laundry. We can shove it away in the depths of the closets, under beds and even toss it into the garbage. Or we can subject ourselves to the work of Jesus, allowing him to take what we made dirty and wash it clean.
Ignoring the laundry doesn’t make it go away. It makes the pile grow. Confronting the laundry – our mistakes – being open and being real about it makes it possible for the good work He began in you to be carried out. Confronting our mistakes regularly, means that we can use the mistake as a learning opportunity – we get to try it again.
Our laundered mistakes, washed clean, made new, fresh and vibrant like Bleach. A mistake now made usable for the purposes of God. We walked through the mistake, and we did not run from it, or hide by putting on the clean clothes in the closet, we allowed it to be cleansed. Mistakes submitted to the cleansing power of Jesus are made into usable tools of our testimony.
I ask you today, Hope Seeker, are you allowing God to work through your mistakes, to challenge and change you, to wash your mistakes in his love and forgiveness? What does it mean to you to live “made clean”? What “dirty laundry” have you been holding on to and letting stains set in? Do you need to lay down the façade of perfection and therefore unable to allow him to wash your mistakes clean and use them for your story and his glory?
We serve a BIG GOD who is more than able to handle every mistake. We serve a God who beckons us out of our hiding and out of our striving to be perfect. He beckons us to rest in his love, knowing that He is the one who is finishing the work in us. All we need to do is be willing to jump into the wash machine with our dirty laundry and let Him wash us clean.