The one tag we cannot shake off.
As months and years go by, imperfections of those we know or begin to know, begin to prick us. First subtly then glaringly. How does one deal with the imperfections that one sees in others? Often in not too kind a way. So, bad mouthing the person, being bitter towards them, shouting, fuming or blackmailing them seems normal.
But many a time the glaring flaws we note in others are far less than the flaws present in us. That is if we recognize them. Recognize that we too fall short. Short of many things. Short of the glory of God.
Imagine if God reacted like us to imperfection.
And therein lies the difference. The Perfect One did not leave us wallowing in our imperfections. He loved us despite our low estate, says Psalm 136:23. What a benchmark! Thus the response to imperfection in others might not be anger but love. That is a godly response. God so loved us while we were yet sinners. Perhaps, the gossip mongering, the lack of unity among us would stop if we realize imperfections should be overlooked and dealt with in love. The godly way of doing things. For, the ten things we list as faults in others there might be a ten more if we care to look within.
The Bible paints a brutally honest picture about the followers of Christ. It celebrates weakness as much as the strength of its characters. David is as guilty of adultery as he is a jubilant worshipper. Abraham the father of Faith lied about his wife. His son Isaac followed his steps. John the Baptist, the “greatest man to be born of a woman”, soon to face execution, has pangs of doubt of Christ being the real Messiah. The fact is that the Bible does not cover up imperfections. It puts them up for threadbare display. Why? Because God recognizes we are but dust.
Surprisingly, we seem to think and act otherwise.
Isn’t this why we strive to paint the followers of Christ as epitomes of perfection? Why our churches are custom made for “perfect people” and have no room for the “sinner”? Why we think twice before admitting our wrongs to a fellow believer? Why we feel choked Sunday after Sunday trying to keep up the role of the ‘perfect disciple’?
Perhaps we forget that while admitting our imperfections we also admit that God is perfect, and hence worthy of worship. Our imperfections and those of others then will lead us to worship and humility. It is in our imperfections that we admire his perfection, in his words and works, and bow our knees to Him. It is while battling with imperfections, that we seek strength from his perfected work on the cross.
As God perfects us each day, may we have grace to overlook the imperfections of others.