If I am not perfect, why do I try to act like I am? I am convinced that we are meant to share our lives with each other, even our struggles and failures. Yet, we all want to appear as though we have it all together. We want to look strong, confident, and as flawless as possible. We consistently deny who we really are, and put on our swagger mask.
Now, let me be clear that I find it unethical and even sinful to point out the flaws of others to make me feel better about myself. However, I have no qualms about doing it to encourage you. That makes sense, right? I want to show you some heroes from the Bible that were very flawed, had great struggles, and still managed to do more for the kingdom of God than we could ever dream.
1. Moses – You know Moses, right? There is a story or two about him in the Old Testament. He pretty much hung out with God all the time, performed countless miracles, freed the Israelites from slavery, delivered The Ten Commandments, and lead God’s people to the promised land.
Sure, Moses made a bad decision or two before God called on him to be the leader of His people. But after that, he was God’s golden boy, right? He talked to the burning bush, saw God’s back, parted the Red Sea, and brought water out of a rock.
You know what else Moses did? He doubted God. That’s right. After all he had seen, and all that God had done through him, Moses doubted that God would bring water out of a rock (Numbers 20). In fact, because he doubted, God did not allow Moses to enter the promised land with the people he led out of Egypt. The leader of Israel, their great prophet and miracle worker, was unable to join them in the land of milk and honey. I'd say that probably got a little awkward, don't you think?
2. David – David killed Goliath to lead the Israeli army to a victory over the Philistines. David became King and ruled over Israel for forty years. He wrote a large part of the book of Psalms. David was a man after God’s own heart, and it was from his lineage that the Messiah was born. Wow…that’s pretty impressive.
However, the Bible is very clear that David messed up on the regular. He committed murder, and then conspired to commit murder to cover it up. Many Psalms discuss his struggles and his desire to become a better man of God. David was very, very far from perfect. Yet, he is looked to as such a great example of how to seek and trust God.
3. Peter – Peter means “rock.” Jesus gave him this name as a metaphor of the fact that Peter was to be the rock that Christianity would be built upon. He was to be the foundation. And in case you haven’t noticed, with millions of Christians all over the world, he did a pretty good job of taking on that challenge. In the book of Acts, we see him taking charge and leading Christ’s disciples in what seemed like a suicide mission (and was for many of them) to spread the good news of Jesus. He preached repentance, love, and salvation to all. Peter seemed to live up to what Jesus expected of him.
But, as I’m sure you know, that was not always the case. Peter had a tendency to stumble in some pretty big ways. In addition to denying his relationship with Jesus three times prior his Jesus’ crucifixion, there was actually a time when Jesus told Peter to “Get behind me, Satan!”.
Geez. If Jesus referred to the foundation of Christianity as Satan, what would he say about me? More importantly, if these flawed individuals are such a pivotal part of God’s plan to expand His Kingdom, why am I so afraid to admit that I am not perfect? Why is it that I put on my swagger mask and act like everything is great, when I could just admit my faults, work on improving them, and move forward toward being who God wants me to be?
I am nowhere near perfect. But if I truly put my faith in God’s word, I should know that I don’t have to be. He will forgive me, help me get back on my feet, and use whatever circumstances I get myself into for His glory.
Have you perfected the art of being imperfect, or do you still spend too much time pretending you are flawless?