by Sandy MacMillan

Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14


Isn’t that what we all want? Whether it’s perfect skin, a perfectly sized waistline, or a perfect family?

Yet my reality seems eons from this kind of perfect.

A friend and I recently shared the trials we had been experiencing: we talked about how hard it is to walk the Christian life and how battered and broken we often feel.

Not any closer to perfect than the last time we met.

At least in the world’s eyes.

When I left my friend, I thought of how godly she is, how brilliantly Christ’s love shines through her.  I always feel loved and encouraged by our times together, no matter how messy either of our lives are. I thought, “I’ll take that over the world’s idea of perfect.”

ImageAs I was thinking, an image came to mind of the crucified Christ. Bloodied, bruised, broken. Far from our usual image of perfect.

And I heard the Spirit of God whisper, “This is what perfect looks like to me.”

Perfect looks very different to God than it does to the world. And as today’s Scripture reminds us, our own perfection rests not in the things we do, but in what Christ’s perfect sacrifice did. His sacrifice made us perfect, and His Spirit continues to make us holy.

Our lives may be messy.  Sometimes folks may turn their backs on our brokenness; they may look askance at our bruises.

But what if God is using our trials, our bruises, and our brokenness to make us more like Christ, to make us holy?  What if our trials make us more compassionate, our bruises make us more wise, and our brokenness allows Christ’s light to shine through our cracks—like it does through my friend?

What if it’s through our messy lives, as we identify with Christ’s suffering, that God makes us perfect?

Sandy MacMillan is the director of Take Heart, a ministry that connects hurting women with sources of help and encouragement in Christ. For more information:

The photo of Michelangelo’s Pieta is by Stanislav Traykov; it is a Wikipedia Commons photo. Permission was granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.


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