Slipping Off the Beam

30 Jul

Let’s keep going with our “Top-Ten” things we WON’T ASSUME this year.

We will NOT assume:

10.  We know it all.

9.   We can read people perfectly.

8.    We have to be like someone else.

7.   We have to be perfect in front of others.

The Olympics are here again, and perfection is on everyone’s mind. The perfect 10, the new world record, or just the best performance of an athlete’s career, is the hope of all competing (and watching).

But even the very best in the world aren’t perfect every. single. time.

Sometimes what was done countless times in practice, becomes the very thing that goes wrong and costs an athlete the gold medal she’s been dreaming about for at least 4 years. And that’s how she fears she’ll be remembered—not as the skilled Olympian at the top of her sport, but one who made a costly error when the pressure was on.

But that’s how competition goes on the biggest stage in the world. And that’s how life can be as well.

Sometimes we assume that we, too, have to be perfect every. single. time. in front of others. After all, we’re Christians. We have the Lord to help us and shouldn’t blow it, especially when others are watching.

And sometimes, when we fall short in front of watchful eyes, we feel like failures. How could God use me now? Does He even still love me?

But we must remember something: God loves us regardless of our “performance.” As a good Father, He simply loves us.

For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5b (NLT)

But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful. Romans 5:8 (CEV)

God our Father loves us. He is kind and has given us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope. We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father will encourage you and help you always to do and say the right thing. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (CEV)

Naturally, right choices benefit your life (so you’ll always be glad you made them). Because of that (and His own nature), God sets the bar high, desiring we always do and say the right thing (as it says above). But when you make mistakes, you have a Father who embraces you, works with you, and helps you grow from what you’ve experienced. (He’s the best Coach of all!)

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. Psalm 86:5 (NKJ)

Our Heavenly Father knows we can’t live this life successfully without His help. We need Jesus! So life isn’t about projecting perfection to everyone around us, hiding struggles, weakness, and mistakes, pretending we have it all together at all times. It’s about having an honest relationship with God, learning His ways, growing in Him, bringing mistakes to the cross and starting fresh each morning, letting Christ transform us day by day. Instead of stressing about imperfection, it’s about trusting in a perfect Savior to take us from glory to glory. We’re “perfect” simply because we’ve accepted Christ’s sacrifice for us (and He is perfect). That’s what people really need to see.

For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14 (NLT)

Now may the God of peace…strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah)…Hebrews 13:20a & 21 (AMP)

Let’s go back to the Olympics. When you see an outstanding gymnast do her very best, but then suddenly lose her balance and fall off the beam, do you instantly dislike her or think she doesn’t belong in the sport? Or does your heart go out to her instead? Do you admire her for choosing to climb back up on that beam and finish her routine with excellence?

So for the rest of this year, let’s afford ourselves the same compassion. Keep that bar high! Absolutely! But don’t beat yourself up if you slip off the beam somehow as you’re giving your best. Just pull yourself back up and listen to your Coach. If you do, He’ll get you to glory, and others will admire you along the way.

Much love,

Lisa

photo credit

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