Sermon: God loves imperfect people


HEBREWS 11:32-34

In a book called “Children’s Letters to God,” a little boy wrote, “Dear God, I’m doing the best I can. Signed Frank.

I think that is a prayer that most of us either do pray, or feel like praying. And I believe it is prayer that God understands and appreciates.

Perfection is unattainable, and it is worth aiming toward, but God loves us, even in our imperfection!

I’m not promoting a lowering of our standards, nor an acceptance of sin in our lives.

I am challenging us to not give up in the midst of our imperfection. I’m encouraging us not to punish ourselves with our failures.

I want us all to realize that failure does not disqualify us from participation in the life and work of the church. If it did, then there would be no one in the church of God today.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a Godly person. Like most or all of you…

* I want to be a good person

* I don’t want to fail

* I want to know God better

* I want to be consistent in my walk with God

* I want to be remembered someday as a person who loved God

* Who served others more than he served himself

* And who was trying to grow in maturity and stability

But even though I want all those things and try hard to make them a reality in my life, I so often fall short of those goals.

What I want us to grasp and encourage others to embrace is the notion that spirituality is not a formula -but a relationship.

* Spirituality is not competency---it is about intimacy

* Spirituality is not about perfection---it is about connection

* Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality

Spirituality is not about being fixed and finished---it is about God being present in the mess and unfinishedness of our lives.

When we read the bible, we see that page’s overflow with messy people. Just look at the text today.

How perfect were all of them in their lives and in their service to God. They were imperfect, yet look at what God did through them!

That’s what God does in and through spiritually inconsistent and messy people!

The men and women of the Old Testament could be gentle, holy, defenders of the faith one minute and then they could be insecure, unstable unbelieving individuals the next.

The New Testament people weren’t much better. Jesus’ disciples were hardly models for sainthood.

Oh, they were committed to Jesus, and were ready and willing to follow him anywhere, but they were also troubled by infighting, impulsive, selfish and disloyal.

Please don’t misunderstand me, by pointing out their flaws of the OT and NT people, I’m not suggesting that we have a free pass, therefore, to do whatever we want to do.

We still must aim for perfection. Run the race despite the obstacles that we face every day.

You have heard the saying that says, “The church is not a hotel for saints, but a hospital for sinners!”

I hope that we can be a people who celebrate and embrace a discipleship which is under construction.

Our discipleship is and always will be incomplete and unfinished.

One of the Peanuts cartoons starts with Lucy at her five-cent psychology booth and Charlie Brown has stopped for advice about life. Lucy says, “Life is like a deck chair, Charlie Brown, on the cruise ship of life. Some people place their deck chairs at the rear of the ship so they can see where they’ve been. Others place their deck chairs at the front of the ship to see where they are going.”

The good doctor Lucy looks at her puzzled client and asks? “Which way is your deck chair facing, Charlie Brown?” Without hesitating, Charlie Brown replies. “I can’t even get my deck chair unfolded!”

Is that the way life and spiritual life often feels to you? Everyone has their deck chairs facing one direction or the other, and we can’t even get ours open.

One person wrote, “He who thinks that he is finished is finished. Those who think that they have arrived, have lost their way. Those who think they have reached their goal, have missed it.

The truth is that none of us are perfect---no not one. All of us struggle from time to time. We have issues, we have secrets. None of us are completely who we appear to be.

It is okay to be unfinished, it is okay to be imperfect. And it’s okay to be honest about that.

AS I HAVE ALREADY SAID, SPIRITUALITY ISN’T ABOUT BEING FINISHED OR PERFECT…IT IS ABOUT TRUSTING GOD AND WORKING WITH GOD IN OUR UNFINISHEDNESS!

All of us are still under construction. God is not finished with us yet!

Dan Pacheco is pastor of College Heights Baptist Church.

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