There is a song by John Legend called “All Of Me” with the chorus, that says in part:
Cause all of me
Loves all of you
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
It is a love song, I know. And I don’t mean to over spiritualize a romantic ballad. But I was struck by that one line…”All your perfect imperfections.” It actually kind of made me laugh. They are not just imperfections…they are PERFECT imperfections! When I think about my imperfections I try not to think about how perfectly imperfect I am. I try to think how much progress I have made or how I am trying to improve. I think more like…”I may not be perfect but at least I’m not like so and so.” But the truth is that I am not perfect and I am full of imperfections. And some of those imperfections are real doozies…(does anyone use that term anymore?).
My sin, no matter how “small” or “minor” is still sin. My faults are still faults no matter how much progress I may have made. And when I conquer one area there will be a dozen others that remain. And they are all “perfect imperfections.” The apostle James writes: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.” In other words, just as you can’t be a little bit pregnant you are not just a little bit of a sinner. You are…or you are not. And since the Apostle Paul says “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) I don’t think any one of us can claim to be a little bit of a sinner. No, our sin…and our shortcomings..are perfectly imperfect.
Throughout this season of Lent I have been aware of my humanness, my own sin and shortcomings. That I am perfectly imperfect. And one Scripture that has brought me encouragement and hope is also found in the book of James. It is short…and powerful: “But he gives us more grace.” (James 4:6).
When I am perfectly imperfect… He gives me more grace.
When I see the faults in others… He gives me more grace.
When I feel overcome, overwhelmed and overworked..He gives me more grace.
When I feel misunderstood…He gives me more grace.
When I want to lash out or take revenge…He gives me more grace.
When I the enemy seems to be winning…He gives me more grace.
When the past points a finger of condemnation…He gives me more grace.
When the situation and circumstance seem insurmountable…He gives me more grace.
When I can accept that I am perfectly imperfect I can begin to accept that others are perfectly imperfect as well. What if I not only accepted other people’s imperfections but came to view them as qualities that make that person unique, special …and different than me? Through the cross of Christ I begin to understand His amazing grace. I see that all of Him loves all of me. He loves me with my perfect imperfections. And He calls me to give Him all my love and to receive all of His. And then I can love others even with their perfect imperfections. Because He gives me more grace.
What do you think?
How does it make you feel?