By Dr. James L. Snyder
Unlike most people, I love my imperfections; those imperfections of mine do not cause me much trouble.
I know most people like to focus on their perfections so that they can impress other people. But what about people like me who have no perfections to boast about? If I had one perfection, I would spend all my time talking about that. And, that would become rather boring in no time.
Some people are ashamed of their imperfections and try to hide them. They think for some reason their imperfections bring them down. Therefore, they do all they can to hide their imperfections from everybody, thinking that nobody will know anything about them.
For the longest time, I tried to do that myself. Then there came the day when I realized that most people could see past my façade and see my imperfections.
For every perfection somebody has, there are probably dozens of imperfections. However, as for me, I cannot think of any perfection that I might have, and therefore focusing on my imperfections is the most reasonable thing to do.
Yes, there was a time when I did not believe I had any imperfections. That is the attitude of bachelors. Once I got married, I was introduced to many imperfections I never knew I had. I had no reason to think I had any.
Before I was married, I thought I was the perfect person with marvelous talent and abilities. From my perspective today, I sure was fooled about those nonexistent perfections I thought I had.
This is one of the significant advantages of getting married. When a person only thinks about the perfections they have in their life and does not know anything about any imperfections, they are headed for disaster. Therefore, I guess that is why I got married when I was young.
I have a cousin it was good looking and faithfully works at it but she is focused on her perfections. For example, she is very serious about her appearance, especially her skin. All I have to do is, when I meet her, is say, "Is that a new wrinkle on your face that I see?"
She will laugh, but I know she will soon disappear to try to work on that wrinkle in a few minutes. Her idea is that her face should be wrinkle-free. Well, I think to myself, how's that working?
She does not realize that wrinkles are a verification that you are making something out of your life and you are growing. Instead, she looks at it from a negative standpoint.
As a young person, I believed I knew everything and was perfect in everything. I remember how boring that kind of a life was, not to mention arrogant.
If all I have in my life is perfection, how in the world can I improve myself?
When I am reminded of a certain imperfection that I have, it encourages me to get better. If perfect, I cannot get better, but I can if I am imperfect. So it took me a long time to understand that.
Now that I look back on my life, I can appreciate all those areas of imperfection that I survived. If imperfection is so bad, why have I had so many and have survived?
It was the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage that helped me understand my imperfections. I am sure she is not done with her task, but so far, she has found out many imperfections, and I have been working on some of them.
It is true what my father used to say, "Son, you can't fix everything." Knowing that gives me a great deal of relief from all of the imperfections that I have in my life.
Although my wife has been very faithful in helping me identify the areas of imperfection in my life, I have learned something very special. As a wife, that seems to be her job to help improve her husband. But, as a husband, that aspect of life is completely and absolutely off-limits.
You don't believe me? Okay, husbands, go tell your wife what is wrong with her and how she can fix it. Don't worry; I'll say something nice at your funeral.
Through the years, I have enjoyed my imperfections because I do not allow them to harass me or even to define me. If I fix everything that is wrong with me, what in the world would I do next? Start fixing my wife's imperfections?
I remember when my imperfections suddenly did not mean much to me. That was when little children began invading our home. Once they began arriving, everything about me in my perfections flew out the window. Now, and I am so thankful for it, everything is about those little children. Nobody is looking at me, but everybody is looking at my children.
I think that is why God gives us children. It deflects the attention from us to those cute, perfect little pre-adults. God is so wise in what he does.
In thinking about perfection, I cannot help but go to a Scripture verse that talks about it. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).
My idea of perfection is on the human level but that does not meet God's standards. My perfection has to be according to our "Father which is in heaven."
My imperfections are no challenge to God if I yield my heart completely to him.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail [email protected] Website is www.jamessnyderministries.com