I'm so far from perfect that the only way from here to there is the blood of Jesus.
I know this is true. I've proven it repeatedly.
I love a challenge and I am a romantic. As a single, I chose the most arrogant, remote, critical guys as my love interests. I played up to them--remaking myself into the image of what I thought they wanted. I didn't know who I was, only that I wanted love from those I deemed hardest to please. That this was a recipe for rejection and misery is obvious--at least from this side of the cross. But I lived my life by the soap opera book of love. I thought love was only worth having if you had to fight against all odds, suffer terribly, and conquer through unswerving devotion.
If a guy liked me without my encouragement, I was suspicious. Something must be wrong with him! I didn't believe anyone would like me for me.
Oh, so far from perfect!
Fortunately, for little lost me, God is perfect. He saw right through my gyrations to my naked, needy heart. Using my very obsession with unattainable guys to lure me, God reached down and gave me unconditional love and new life. He showed me that I could not earn His love or attain my dreamed of perfection on my own. Love and renewal are gifts. Jesus is the only One who ever lived a perfect life. He laid it down to perfect us because He loves us.
Meeting Christ was a relief. I knew I was on my way to becoming the perfect me. The one EVERYONE would love. The one who would perform perfectly...
...so I tithed, dressed right, was in church every time the doors were open, sang songs, learned lessons, prayed for hours, read for hours, attended Bible study, taught Sunday School, wrote stories, attended conventions and revivals--poured my life into dancing the same old dog and pony show for God. He pampered me for a time, and then He slowly, gently sucked all the wind out of my self-important sails. I've messed up, had no money, worn awful clothes, gotten fat, missed church six out of eight weeks, skipped prayer, skipped reading, missed Bible study, and done nothing to serve.
Can you believe it? God loves me anyway! He accepts me for one reason only. I believe His sacrifice is sufficient to cover my sin. I understand that I am so far from perfect that the only way from here to there is the blood of Jesus.
Whoever you are, no matter how high you have climbed in the eyes of the world or the church, you are no closer to perfect than I am. Let Jesus perfect you. He's already paid the price to redeem you. His gift is yours to take or leave. If you take it and trust Him, He will hide you in His own righteousness while you wait for His good work in you to be completed.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph 2:8-9 (NIV)
Debbie O'Connor lives just north of New Orleans with her husband, Jim, and their two children. Jesus has been her savior for 18 years. Contact Debbie at email@example.com.