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"Perfected" Guest Post: Rachel Gonzalez
by Rachel Gonzalez on January 8th, 2015

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18,19

I can tell you countless stories of how the notion of being “perfect” was implied and enforced throughout my life. Family, friends, coworkers, bosses and even I have been a culprit in attacking my identity with this unattainable standard. Failing to be perfect is a given, yet the wounding of this failure is hard to shake off.

We are aware perfection is an impossible standard, yet how often do we find ourselves faithfully pursuing to achieve that very thing? What drives us to try and try and try and beat ourselves up in order to get to a place we are unable to arrive at? I believe the answer, like most in life, is simple and complex.

Fear.

That nasty little word has the power to dictate our most careless choices or cause a paralysis which leads to complacency, bitterness, resentment and regret.

Being a woman in our society is difficult. 
We are implicitly expected to be: seductive, yet a lady; skinny, yet curvy; intelligent, yet intellectually inferior so as not to intimidate. As a Christian woman the standards aren’t any less strenuous. We want to be a Proverbs 31 woman and yet we fantasize about punching her in the face for being so ridiculously perfect. We fail before we even begin.  

I love this verse in 1 John so much, because it gives me peace and assurance. I’m reminded the Lord does not expect me to be perfect, rather, He invites me to be perfected by His perfect love.

This verse allows us to grow, work hard, accomplish, take risks and make mistakes. This verse says, “I am the God of the universe and I love you. I don’t want you to be afraid. I didn’t make you to be tormented or be deceived to think you are anything less than the woman I love.” 

This verse is calling us to go back to the simple and profound fact -  which is His love. His love is freely given, and day by day, He teaches us how to receive it.

The evidence of receiving and applying His love shows through our deepest motives and beliefs. For example: I love giving gifts. It brings me joy to see the smile on someone’s face when they open a present knowing they were thought of. But I know I have the ability to give out of fear as well.  There are seasons of my life where I may not have the energy, resources or time to give gifts, but I hear a voice that tells me I have to give gifts. I have to do it all. I have to walk through my darkest hour and look beautiful and put together, perform excellently at work, serve on multiple ministries at church, bake cookies, be the best friend anyone and everyone has ever had, read my Bible, cast out every demon and give gifts because if I don’t … GASP … people will know I’m not perfect!

Oh to know I am not perfect! What a joy! It relieves me from living my life motivated by fear and the lie that I am anything on my own. It is by the love of Christ that I am worth taking a look at.  It is by His blood that I am healed and purified. It is by His life, death and resurrection that I am able to live this life. It is by the Holy Spirit that I am able to have power and hear His voice which calls me to do His will.   

I encourage you, ask Him to demonstrate for you that He does not desire your perfection, but He longs for the intimate relationship that offers being perfected by the Author of life.

Perfect is a product, perfection is a process.   

Jesus is more concerned with us being engaged in a process of growth with Him rather than us trying to become perfect or flawless. It’s religion vs. relationship. Religion would call us to do things to give the façade that we are perfect Christians. God is about relationship - that leads us into doing or acting from our intimacy with Him.

In other words, we learn what it means to love Him because He first loved us. 
God is about engaging us in a relationship that will expose our flaws, selfish motives, fears and weaknesses, so that we can see His greatness. I ask you, precious one, stop trying to be perfect and learn to just be His. 


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8 Comments

Ashley - January 8th, 2015 at 7:21 PM
This woman is a woman of her word. She is so authentic and so encouraging! I appreciate the reminder that Jesus is more concerned with our growth than our "doing everything right." GOD is SO wonderful!! I love how two of His goals for us are to be free from deception and torment. Excellent guest post.
Jennifer - January 8th, 2015 at 7:37 PM
What a great compliment to give Ashley! Thank you for feedback. What a great God we serve. One that loves us and works on making us truly set free.
Rachel - January 11th, 2015 at 12:56 AM
thank you, ashley. that's truly humbling. yes, He is concerned with our "being" rather than our "doing". not by works of righteousness which have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and the cleansing of the Holy Ghost (titus 3:5) knowing it's about giving Him our lack and weakness, that is what drives us to DO, but not to earn what He freely gives, but we begin to freely give BECAUSE of what He has done. truly beautiful!
LaNiesha - January 8th, 2015 at 7:21 PM
Wow
I needed to hear this
Jennifer - January 8th, 2015 at 7:39 PM
Glad to have you here LaNiesha and I am so thankful Rachel was able to speak to your heart! At the end of the day, we are all working toward who we are MEANT to be in Christ!
Rachel - January 11th, 2015 at 12:58 AM
LaNiesha, I'm so glad it touched you. I love how He gives us words at the right moments to assure, encourage and challenge us.
Julie - January 9th, 2015 at 9:40 AM
Beautifully written! We are all in process ..amen!
Rachel - January 11th, 2015 at 12:59 AM
Julie, thank you for reading! Yes, we are all in a process and only He knows every aspect! Keep pursuing His plan for you and walking humbly knowing you may not always get it right, but He is pleased with those whose heart is after His.
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