Sunday, March 18, 2012

Perfect vs. Pleasing

"It doesn't have to be perfect.  It just has to please God."  ~woman at Summit Church

Such a simple two sentences, and yet truth so profound it catches me, giving me pause.

So many things to juggle.  Almost ceaseless activity and noise.  Quiet hours are few, and I'm sleeping most of those.

And this new way of living life is hard, and I'm bent towards perfection.

But He is straightening me out, vertebrae by vertebrae, until I stand erect, free, unemcumbered by the weight of doing something perfectly. arbitrary measure when all the measure I need is His pleasure.

He's pointing me towards a lifestyle directed completely by His Jesus, you know. 

“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." ~Jesus

This undoing of lists and routines and schedules and this developing of new patterns and disciplines is hard.  It has the potential to unleash great amounts of anxiety within me...but only if I strive for perfection instead of moving to please Him.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
The pattern of this world spins frenzy and panic as if they were the drugs of choice, creating an atmosphere of frantic activity where we compare lists and events and activities as if we have no choice and we sigh and we moan and we curse the busyness as if it had control over us and not us over it.

But I do.  Have a choice, I mean.  I can choose transformation through getting God's thoughts about me and my life instead of drinking the world's koolaid and obsessing over the perfect _________ (you fill in the blank) where my thoughts get tied up in wondering if it really is "good enough" instead of asking Him if it's pleasing.

He says that He has life for me, not just any life, but abundant full of joy and peace and love and righteousness and everything He is.

So how do I do His good, pleasing and perfect will?

Good question.  I'm working on it.  Don't have it all figured out.  Won't have it all figured out, but one thing I do know is that it pleases Him when I trust Him.  It pleases Him when I listen to Him.  It pleases Him when I turn over all my anxiety and cares and worries to Him. It pleases Him when I believe what He says about me and what He says about Himself.  It pleases Him when I rest.

It pleases Him when I speak to my children in kind and gentle tone and give hugs and correct gently and love generously and live abundantly.  It pleases Him when I give thanks and when I worship and when I spend time with Him just because.

Does it please Him when I fold the laundry?  I don't think He cares WHAT I'm doing it as much as He cares HOW I'm doing it.

I jokingly told my friend the other day that she could send her mother-in-law over to my house and then maybe I would have motivation to get it clean.  She laughed and said, "Oh no!  There's so much freedom here."

Freedom.  That's it right there.

Free to be.  Free to live.  Free to love.

Free to not do anything perfectly or to even try to get it perfectly. 

I just get to please Him.

"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men."  Romans 14:17-18


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