Embracing Imperfection

by Jenny Harrison

Here she sat—one of the final four people interviewing for a coveted position. At this point, all candidates were the best-of-the-best in the profession, each equipped with impressive resumes and references.

The administrator was on a mission to zero in on the perfect candidate to add to her team of professionals. The impression made during the interview was critical. My colleague had to demonstrate that she was deserving of the position by standing out from the other applicants.

In addition to the list of obvious educational requirements, the interviewer cited further personal characteristics for the job. She stressed the importance of team work, the ability to remain composed when plans were changed at a moment’s notice, to regroup and persevere when multiple stressors arose, and the ability to learn from mistakes and move forward.

20140604_01aIt was at that point in the interview that my friend glanced at her feet and in horror realized that she was wearing mismatched shoes.

Her mind was racing when the administrator asked if she had any questions or comments. My colleague smiled and responded with confidence, “I do believe I am the person for this job. I just noticed that I am wearing a pair of mismatched shoes. I have definitely learned that I should never search for shoes in a closet that is not well lit, but I refuse to let this incident worry me. I will smile and continue my day.”

When the administrator stopped laughing, my friend was hired on the spot.

We all have imperfections and flaws that can work for us or against us. Anyone can learn to transform imperfections to assets by accepting two radical truths.

First: Imperfections are necessary for personal growth.

20140604_02aThroughout my years in public schools, I have assisted numerous students in conflict-resolution and decision-making skills. One student commented that if he were smart like I am, he would not make silly mistakes. I remember smiling and assuring him, “Sweetie, the only advantage Miss Jenny has over you is that I have had more time on this earth to mess up. You are a smart and wise person when you admit your weaknesses, accept your imperfections, and choose to learn and grow.”

Like many of us, this precious young man had magnified his flaws until eventually they defined him. It hindered his self-esteem, and as a result, his relationships were strained. Praise God for the opportunity to reframe destructive self-messages in the early years.

Second: We were never created for perfection.  

Our Lord has never expected perfection from His children. If perfection were attainable, we would have never needed a Savior or a cross.

20140604_03aListen closely to Paul’s earnest plea and the Lord’s response when Paul  was faced with weakness:

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NIV)

So today my friends, I encourage you to breathe, relax and celebrate the beauty of you. After all, we are children of the most perfect Father! We are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) Recognize strengths, embrace imperfections, and watch His perfect power work through you.

Copyright © 2014, Jenny Harrison, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Images from Pinterest. Scripture from The Holy Bible, New International Version.

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