Advent Reading – December 4, 2017

Laurie Pauls – Worship Design Team

Romans 5:8

At the fall prayer summit, there was a time for listening to the Holy Spirit after asking Him to search our hearts and let us know if there is anything He wants to convict us of. A perfectionist likes to work on themselves and improve – so as a “recovering perfectionist” I am very open to hearing what God wants to convict me of so that I can continue growing (or moving toward perfection.) After a little while of waiting for the Holy Spirit to tell me how to improve myself, what I understood Him saying to me was to let go of the idea of perfection and be okay with my imperfections because He is okay with them.

As we prepared for taking communion through prayer and song, I felt the Holy Spirit press on my heart that it is because of what Jesus did on earth through His sacrifice on the cross that it is very much okay to be imperfect. It was a new perspective for me on Jesus’ life and what He accomplished on the cross. Often we sing about the weight of our sin and the great price He paid because we have messed up

“That He should give His only Son, To make a wretch His treasure… Behold the man upon a cross, My sin upon His shoulders. Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice, Call out among the scoffers…”

(How Deep The Father’s Love)

Instead of feeling guilty for the pain my imperfections and sin have caused, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude to Jesus for the freedom and grace that we have the option of living under. The song I quoted above is not overly helpful for quieting my inner critic and accepting that I am imperfect. Jesus gave us (especially perfectionists) the best gift ever – WE DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT! Not only did Jesus make a way for us to receive grace and forgiveness, but He accepts and loves us as broken, imperfect people.

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”  Romans 5:8

And I’m beginning to see that God can even take my imperfections, weaknesses, and limitations – and make something beautiful out of them. What a wonderful feeling to be loved and accepted where I am at on the journey.

So Father, thank you for the gift of Your son Jesus and the freedom and grace we can live under because of His life, death and resurrection!