Friday, September 20, 2013

Instead of Expecting Perfection, Let's Love One Another

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I am not perfect.

I have a propensity to swear, I drink Diet Coke, and I get impatient with my children.

There. See?

I'm not glorying in my sins either. Oh no, the opposite. I do try each day to be better. I've cut back on all of the above.

But, still not perfect.

I'm not confessing these things because I'm proud of them, quite the opposite in fact. I've been known to make sure the Diet Coke is hiding when church members are coming over.

The reality is, I'm not good enough.

So often we try oh so very hard to prove to each other that we are indeed perfect, or at the least, better than we are actually. And we expect, if we're being honest with ourselves, others to do the same.

I believe that we do each other as the body of Christ, a huge disservice when we allow those we love, know and serve with, to think we're perfect and when we in turn, think others are more perfect than we are.

Look, I'm not suggesting that we wear our issues, sins or weaknesses on our t-shirts, but perhaps, if we were a bit more vulnerable with one another, we'd have more compassion, more love, more service and even more patience with one another.

James 5:16 reads, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

Oh how I love this verse! When we share our trials with one another, we are inviting the prayers of one another to heal us. Think of the prayer roll in the temple. What an amazing gift it is to have our friends praying for our weakness, rather than judging.

What if, when we are tempted to click our mental tongues disapprovingly when we notice someone's imperfection, we instead, offered a prayer for them to be strengthened, and for us to be better too.

And when we let go of our desires to see others as perfect and for those others to see us as perfect, we are allowing Christ's grace to be sufficient.

At the end of The Book of Mormon, Moroni pleads with us to become perfected in Christ, through (and only through) His grace. He never says, "Be better, but you're the only one who needs this verse." We ALLLLLL need it. We all need to be perfected through Christ. Let us cut one another some slack. Forgive imperfections you see in people. Remember they desperately don't want you to notice them.

Be kind.

Love each other.

Don't worry about anyone else's imperfections. Just work on your own.

And remember the words of Moroni. " Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." (Moroni 10:32)

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