holiday-table

Thanksgiving and Christmas is always a time with extended family that allows us catch up on “what’s new.”  However, sometimes it feels like it ends up being very familiar. You know the drill, in every family each person has their “role”—the athlete, the smart one, the musician … you’re tracking with me, right?

Well, I must admit I am growing weary of my role in the family as the “perfect one.” Actually, I have always been weary of it because it is frustrating.

My daughter has picked up on the fact that we are perceived as perfect and she does not think much of it. As we were getting ready for bed on Thanksgiving eve she came into my childhood bedroom and asked, “Mom, why does everyone in our family seem to think we are perfect? Them thinking that really bothers me and I don’t like it.” We ended up having a lengthy discussion about being in the world and not of the world and about God’s light, not our light.

If you have been labeled “perfect” in your family (or workplace, or play group, or neighborhood) because of your pursuit of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I’m sure you grow weary of that label as well.

For those of you reading this who do not get the whole Jesus thing or how those of us who love Him live our daily lives: Allow me to attempt to explain. As followers of Jesus Christ we believe that we all are sinners, that we deserve eternal separation from God because of our sin, but Christ paid the price of our sin for us by dying on a cross. Because we accept His gift of that payment we are devoted, wholly devoted, to attempting to live our lives based on His instructions. His instructions are found in the Bible. We read and study the Bible. We talk and pray to God. We listen to and are guided by God.

Thus, when we mess up, we recognize it (because He makes us aware of it), we ask for forgiveness, and try harder to live the way He wants us to. So, you tell me, does that make us perfect? No, maybe it makes us more acutely aware of our sin than someone who does not pursue Jesus as we do, but it does not make us perfect.

Okay, so you want to be a guitarist; you practice, you work at it, you study books and you spend time with your guitar. Does that make you a perfect guitar player?  No, it makes you committed to being better and aware that if you do not work at it, you will be a lousy guitar player. So comparatively, we work at being a follower of Jesus Christ. we are fully aware of our inabilities apart from His instruction.

I think I am finally figuring out where the “rub” is for those who think followers of Jesus Christ are perfect—they see our peace and mistake it for pride. The very coolest thing about belonging to Jesus is that it gives His followers peace.

So, please do not misinterpret peace for perfection.  Followers of Jesus Christ simply rest in the knowledge that He forgives, He guides … and He loves.

Would you like a little peace? Then you need a lot of Jesus!

{Editor’s Note: This article was first posted on MomLife Today in December of 2008.}