I like to tell people about the mistakes I make….
…because I want them to know I’m not perfect. And, they don’t have to be perfect either.
If you ask me, there are too many pretenders out there. That’s the hard part about growing up. At some point we realize we’ll never have it together – not completely. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try to make it SEEM like we’ve got it all together.
We pretend like we have…
The Perfect Faith.
A lot of people struggle with the idea of God or Christianity because they see all of the destructive things people do under the “direction/guise” of God or religion. The important thing to note is that these are people calling themselves Christians, they are not Christ. We can try to imitate God, but humans are imperfect. We’ll never get it all the way right.
They’re making mistakes.
The trouble comes when we start thinking we don’t make mistakes. That’s when we start looking down at people around us and start thinking we’re better than them. In some aspects we might be “better” but some aspects are worse. We’ve all got a mess to be working on.
A Perfect Example.
I know my sisters look up to me.
I know that in conscious and unconscious ways they are emulating me and my behavior. I don’t want them to think I have it all together. I want them to be able to see the areas I’ve failed and then I want them to see me working to make it right. They should never have to wonder if a mistake or bad choice would cause me to love them less.
I do not ask them to be perfect.
I ask them to be real.
I ask them to be trying.
In my work and my personal life, I see hundreds of people trying to pretend like “nothing is wrong” or that they can handle it on their own. They’re hurting themselves and they’re hurting the people that look up to them.
In Perfect health.
My patients ask me what’s wrong with my generation? Why don’t they care about their health and the health of their children?
I ask them if they’ve talked to their children and grandchildren about their diabetes or congestive heart failure. I ask if they share how hard it is to recover from a stroke.
No. They don’t want to scare their grandchildren. They’d rather act like everything is normal.
I think people have a casual attitude about disease and health problems because no one is talking about how hard it is to have a body that’s breaking. They don’t talk to you about how stressful it is to take over the job of some of their different organs and bodily processes. They don’t tell you how humiliating it is to have to go from being independent to handicapped.
I think our kids are making mistakes because we don’t talk to them about the mistakes we made and why we shouldn’t have made them. We’ve stopped sharing lessons.
The Perfect People.
We’ve starting acting like “nothing is wrong.”
The more we try act like the mess doesn’t exist, the more we fool each other into thinking there is something wrong with us if we don’t have it all right. We try to hide our shortcomings because we’re ashamed of them – and by doing this, we never get help.
We need to know it’s okay to be human.
Let’s be real instead of perfect.
Things are wrong, but not everything is wrong. I think it’s important to have a balance. I think it’s important to let people see you trying to be better instead of having it all together.
I encourage you to share. I encourage you to let people see your weaknesses. Let them know you’re not perfect, but you’re trying to be better – and that’s the best any of us can hope for…
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, our faith life is forced into the open and shows it’s true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1: 2-4