Weekly Devotional: Let's Be Honest, Not Perfect

young woman focusing on honesty

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV

Throughout the course of our lives, we will all be faced with different struggles. Unfortunately, that will never end while we are here on earth. However, we have a future hope of relief from our trials, pain and temptations.

As Christians, an impossible level of perfection that is unachievable should not be what we strive for. It can be easy to get caught up in all the little things and a desire to be perfect. However, that is not what is important. God knows we will sin. Rather what is important is our hearts and our desires to honor and love Christ.

In This Blog:

No One Is Perfect

As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one;’ — Romans 3:10 NIV

The Bible makes it pretty clear that the only person who has ever lived a sinless life is Jesus Christ — not you, not your pastor, not your friend, only Jesus. 1 John says, “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin,” (1 John 3:4-5).

We have all messed up and fallen short in our lives. However, that does not mean we are stuck in a never-ending cycle of sin and shame. Rather, we can look to our perfect savior and redeemer and with his help strive to live a changed life.

Letting Go of Perfectionism

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. — Philippians 1:6 NIV

At times, we may cling to the idea of perfectionism and getting everything right. We may try to live according to all the laws and commandments in the Bible and try and get others to as well. The Pharisees fell into this category. On multiple occasions when Jesus healed and performed miracles on the Sabbath, the Pharisees were judgmental toward the acts. However, Jesus was not changed or swayed by their opinions.

As Christians, we can learn from letting go of perfectionism. We may be afraid that God will not love us if we sin or that we will be letting him or others down. However, his love is not dependent on us. We do not earn his love and salvation, rather it is given to us as a gift.

Next time we are overwhelmed or stressed by trying to find the right words or the best course of action, know that God is with us and loves us, even in our imperfect moments.

Embracing Honesty

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ — John 8:31-32 NIV

Letting go of perfectionism requires us to be honest, both with ourselves and others. We need to admit when we are wrong or struggling instead of putting up a front that everything is alright, and we are perfect. James says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” (James 5:16).

It's okay to have struggles, it’s normal even. If we are willing to be honest and open about them then perhaps, we can help love and support others who also are going through something similar. As Christians we are a community and can lift each other up through prayer and strive to bring each other closer to Christ.

We need to avoid becoming like the Pharisees who created such a world of hypocrisy that even Jesus’ acts of love and hope toward a hurting world were upsetting. Perfection isn’t our master. We should live everyday with our focus on the Lord and trust and follow him, in both our proudest moments and our struggles.

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Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on May 22, 2023.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.