December 6, 2022
My wife has a hard time receiving compliments. I frequently tell her how beautiful she looks or how smart she is etc. But when I tell her how beautiful she is she will come up with something that isn’t perfect. For example, I will say: “You look fantastic today” or “That dress really makes you look skinny”. And she will say, “But my curly hair is a mess or my shoes don’t match.” Very seldom does she ever just receive the compliment that I am giving her without some type of negative response.
Maybe because in her mind everything has to be perfect in order for her to feel like she is beautiful. She sees the things that aren’t right more than taking compliments about the things that are outstanding. In her mind, the little imperfections outweigh the huge majority of things that are right and beautiful about her.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” When the word perfect is used in this verse it doesn’t mean for us to perfect in terms of no flaws or mistakes. It means that we become perfect when we receive the love and forgiveness of the only perfect one – Jesus. Without love, I am nothing. Love is perfection; it isn’t my perfectly performing by a standard that I erected. I am not only perfected BY love but IN love.
Love is the essence of Jesus’ message of perfection. To be perfect is to have ‘nothing which belongs left out.’ Thank God perfect is not about perfectionism, for in that we would all fail. To be perfect is to live in the Life of the Perfect One in Love and how He sees us.
Some people judge themselves way too easily and are content (Not Happy) being a whole lot less than God intends for them to be. Others judge themselves way too harshly and try to live up to a (Real or imagined) standard of perfection. These people never find total joy because there is no way to live a perfect life.
But the good news is that God loves us the way that we are and He takes ALL of our imperfections and covers them with His love, grace, and mercy and makes us perfect in His eyes. So we need to see ourselves as God sees us – perfect and complete as His children.
And when we look at the ones that we love we should see them as perfect despite any and all imperfections. Take a newborn baby for example. That baby could have 2 heads, and a big black mole on one of its noses, but in the eyes of the parents and grandparents – it is the most perfect, beautiful baby that they have ever seen. That’s the way that God sees us as His children. He only sees the best and He wants us to see ourselves and others that way too.
Finally, receive a compliment without offsetting it with something that isn’t perfect. The danger is that the person giving you the compliment will stop giving them because you are not receiving them. Then you will start to wonder why that person isn’t complimenting you anymore. That will cause damage to your self-esteem and a question about that person’s love for you.
In love with Jesus – Gary Mimbs