You don't have to be perfect
I've not known her for long. Rose (not her real name) walked into my life 18 months ago. Her smile captured my heart and resonated within. Her cheerful nature grabbed me. Our common love for Jesus knitted us together and we soon became close friends. In a short space of time Rose has been the fragrance of Jesus in my life.
A few months ago, I was in need of prayer. I called my new friend. I didn’t have long to wait. Rose dropped what she was doing and came by at once. She brought flowers in her arms. Her bright smile warmed me. It always does. Her hug said it all. ‘I am here for you’. Thank you Rose. Before long I was spilling my concerns into her loving heart.
But wait. Not exactly! Let me explain.
You see, Rose is a talker. Listening is not one of her many giftings. That day, as I tried to share my pain with her I couldn’t get a few words out before my dear friend Rose interrupted me with her stories. It wasn’t that she meant to be unkind. Not at all. She did seek to bless me. But Rose believed that by sharing similar stories in her life – she would help me. And so amidst my pain – I also had to smile.
I let Rose talk. And she did. Eventually in short bursts I managed to share my story with her. After which we had a wonderful time of prayer together, my friend Rose and I. I felt my Father’s presence then. ‘For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them’ said Jesus. God joined our hearts in unison as we prayed. I felt the power of those prayers touch me before she left.
No – Rose is no listener. But you know what? It didn’t matter. Her heart of gold was evident. Her prayers blessed me. So much so that after she left my heart felt much lighter. A burden shared is always a burden halved isn’t it? And I thanked God for Rose.
That day, I learnt something new. You don’t have to be perfect to bless another. Did you know that? Does that make sense? No, you don’t have to be perfect. I often value the art of listening in a friend. Because you see, when I feel listened to – my heart is soothed. And my cares fall off like a heavy backpack that is tossed aside for ever. Rose on the other hand talked more than she listened. But it didn’t matter. It did not matter a bit.
Her heart made up for it. A heart of caring. One that empathised warmly. Eyes that shed tears along with me. Kindness that sought to bless. Rose has a difficult life. She has many responsibilities and many cares. But they don't prevent her from reaching out to me when I need a lift. I can cope with her talking. Because I see into her heart. Her heart of gold. I know she loves me because she makes sure I do. And I love her too. Rose has a passion for God and is frequently His Hands and feet to the world around her.
You don’t need to be perfect to serve God. Did you know that? I know – because in spite of my own weaknesses, inadequacies and failings, God does use me on occasion. A grand surprise. One that warms me from within. In the Bible we find that many of God’s heroes had their own special brand of sin. Abraham lied. Moses was a murderer. David committed adultery. Peter ran away. Jacob was deceitful. The Disciples rarely got it – they had no idea what Jesus was up to. But you know what? God used them all. Big time!
You don’t have to be perfect to be used by God. I cheer from the rooftops as I say it now. He uses broken, imperfect vessels. Like me. All He asks for is a heart of humility – a heart surrendered to Him. A heart that depends on the Holy Spirit. A heart which allows Him to take the lead. You don’t have to be perfect. Just link your hand in God’s and fly high like the eagle. And you will bless your world in His strength. You don’t need to be perfect. Linking your life with a perfect God will do it.
And don’t forget….
You are precious to God.
You are also useful to God – just the way you are!