What’s Himperfection & How Can I Get It?
by Amy Carroll
The Lie of Perfection: If I work hard enough, I can create perfection.
The Truth of God’s Love: I’m weak, but God delights in using His power to perfect me.
I blew it again. Despite my best intentions, my attempt to fix a conflict between friends (that was actually none of my business) had stirred up drama and hurt feelings. Tears stung my eyes. Dread filled my heart. I hated that my mistake had hurt relationships. In the midst of it all, my desire to be perfect made my failures feel suffocating. “Maybe it would be better to just give up on relationships and withdraw completely,” I thought.
Have you been there? It was a moment when I couldn’t forgive my own flaws even though my intent had been pure. It was a “nobody loves me, everybody hates me, and I’m going to eat some worms” kind of day.
There’s got to be something better than this. On one hand, there’s elevating my own view of perfection which is driving me around the bend. On the other hand, there’s celebrating my imperfections which doesn’t seem quite right. After all, Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
So what’s a girl to do?
I’m finding that there’s a better way than either pursuing my own perfection or giving up to my imperfections. It’s a process I’ve started thinking of as “Himperfection,” the perfecting work God is doing within me in the power of His Holy Spirit.
For me, a woman who’s kept a Good Girl List, for decades it’s been about keeping track of all the things I have to accomplish to “do it all right”—from the way I keep my house to the way I look and beyond.
Maybe you’ve struggled more with the feeling you always fall short, and you keep the Never Good Enough List, recording all the ways you’ve failed to measure up while striving to earn perfection.
Do you see how we’re both the same? It’s all about our effort. Our work. Our successes. Our failures. Listing and listing. Working and working. Never quite attaining the picture of perfect in our heads.
Good grief. No wonder the modern woman in hot pursuit of the perfect life is worn slap out!
As it turns out, when Jesus said to “be perfect,” He defines the word “perfect” far differently than I do. A word study revealed that the original word means whole, mature, or complete. Ahhhhhh… I hope you’re inhaling the grace in those definitions like I have.
God’s perfecting work is full of the maturing grace of a process rather than the measuring stick of a product. I’ve decided I’ve beaten myself with that measuring stick long enough. Because we can’t have both our way and God’s, I’m ready to try His way. How about you?
Only when I end my pursuit of perfection can God begin His perfecting work in me.
In fact, I’ve boiled this idea of Himperfection down into an equation:
My surrendered weakness
+ God’s perfecting power
Himperfection (Wholeness and maturity in me)
Himperfection is definitely a process, but we can begin a new journey to a better way of life. We can move away from perfectionism toward a life of deeper relationship with God, ourselves and others that’s filled with more joy and power than we ever imagined. Scripture says it this way, “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 Christ’s power may rest on me” (II Corinthians 12:9 NIV).
Here’s a first step toward Himperfection. Write out a prayer of surrender to God. Surrender your weaknesses, your strengths, and your efforts to Jesus—the only One who can perfect us. Ask Him to add His power to your weakness to begin a journey of Himperfection today. Post the prayer on your bathroom mirror so you can recommit each of these five days. It’s really not about trying harder. It’s about surrendering all to Jesus.
We’d like to hear from you. Please share your comments below or like us on your Facebook page. Be sure to check back each month for more articles and products available at your local Christian bookstore.