perfection and failure and grace.

When you finally find someone with enough of a backbone, enough gusto, and enough nerves to really call you out on something…

you freak out a little bit. Specifically when you haven’t had to answer to anyone in years. Specifically, when you’re me.

So here’s what I think. I think God uses relationships in humbling, sharpening, brutal ways sometimes. He uses them in our lives to point out how futile our own attempts at goodness really are.

These are the times that force us to come to terms with all of the crap inside that we’ve gotten so good at hiding from everybody else. I think the right person for everybody is probably the person who tells you things you don’t want to hear, when you don’t want to hear them, because it’s still exactly what you need to hear.

How rude. How inconceivable. How non-PC. How bold. How unfair. How shocking. Eeeek.

Alas, the uncomfortable truth still exists: when someone really loves you and really wants to invest in you, he has a thing or two to say about the areas in your life where you need to be called out. The areas that can cause yourself and others a lot of hurt.

I bet this blog post seems off-topic from what I usually write. And that’s fine. I haven’t written in a month, and it figures that my first attempt to get back

into it would result in some partial word-vomit to deal with the thoughts swirling around in my head.

What I am trying to tell you, I suppose, is this: I’m not perfect. Ah, yes. That’s it.

I unbelievably thankful for this very real realization. As a girl who grew up in a strict(ish) Christian household, who always prided herself on making people happy and on being so very cautious to stay away from the “big” sins, I have pride that runs miles deep in my soul. Pride that blinds me from my weaknesses until it’s too late;

pride that makes me think I can look down on the lifestyles of others; pride that poisons. This image of myself as a minor league sinner, this image I held onto so dearly has slowly crumbled apart, and this afternoon as I was driving past miles of trees and grass and homes and sunshine, thinking about what an unbelievable failure of a good Christian I’ve been lately (and oh right, everyday of my life), this truth came to mind.

My worth is not based on my own perfection, but on the perfection of Jesus Christ. His perfect Life. His perfect Sacrifice. His perfect Love.

My worth is not based on my own perfection, but on the perfection of Jesus Christ.

His perfect Love.

His perfect Love.

His perfect Love.

I went to a writer’s conference last week, and one of the speakers talked about how when you create, sometimes the creation you make is a way that God wants to speak to you. When you write, she said, sometimes the words are for you. They are words and gifts from God that needed to come out on the page in order for you to get to them, see them, interact with them, reread them, and understand them.

So there you go. This one’s for me. Not for you. But you can read it too. That’s cool.

And here’s something else for you:

This song.

Enjoy.

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2 Responses to perfection and failure and grace.

  1. Jaime says:

    Well put, Ashley! And I think it’s true–most of the words I write are for myself–lessons I need to learn more than anyone. It’s good to have people in our lives that will call us out on our crap–I’m glad you have one too 🙂

  2. Maria.Paula says:

    So much beauty in humility. The road to becoming humble, not so pretty. I’m finding that when I really accept that Jesus paid it all, and that he (not me) is my righteousness, I can stop striving so hard, live out of a new found appreciation and awe of who He is and how His love and grace truly transcends all I am and do.

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