Confession 395: Some Thanksgiving Thoughts on Imperfection and Grace

We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace, which he poured over us with wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8 (CEB)

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When my oldest was in first grade, I forgot to send his lunch to school not once–but twice.  Twice–in less than a month!  My son is on the Autism spectrum and is a very picky eater.  He has, since kindergarten, taken a crustless peanut butter sandwich and two Oreo cookies for lunch each day of school.

After the second no lunch day (my son wept in the cafeteria and the school resource officer made him a sandwich) his teacher emailed me with the concern that my son wasn’t getting enough to eat.

I was mortified.  What kind of parent forgets to send lunch with their kid?  Apparently, this one.

We live in a society obsessed with perfection, so much so that what we see presented as an ideal in a magazine, on T.V. or even in social media isn’t actually reality.  Photos get doctored, news gets distorted and social media posts are carefully orchestrated to show us at our best.

We tiptoe carefully around our imperfections to avoid the judgment and condemnation of others struggling with their imperfections.  The danger of striving for perfection by masking imperfection is that we  lose the very essence of who we are in the process.  Human beings are born into imperfection.  Although you probably can’t scientifically prove it, it’s part of the fabric of our DNA.  And being imperfect is actually a really good thing!

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Imperfection is the foundation of knowledge.  Most of us learn far more from our mistakes than we do our successes.  Imperfection can also be a great motivator for achievement.  A scientist finds a great way to treat cancer, but there are flaw.  Another scientist can use those flaws to build an even better treatment.

As Jesus people, our imperfections are a means of experiencing God’s grace.  Grace is, by definition, the “unedited favor of God”.  It is forgiveness, mercy, love and justice all rolled into one.  Grace is God’s gift to his children–his perfect love extended to us even though we are imperfect. God’s grace pours over us in our imperfection with wisdom and understanding. Grace is God saying, “I love you. I’m with you. Let’s keep going.

As you enter into Thanksgiving this week, take some time to give thanks for your imperfections.  Accept the fact that you’re human, and that it’s okay.  Ask God to help you experience his grace as it pours into your life.

Then, extend that grace to those gathered around your Thanksgiving table.  Let them know how much you love them, imperfections and all.

Blessings and Peace,

Sara

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