(When I want to write a quick social media status, but a blog post comes out of it… geez!)
I really want to scream from the top of my lungs: I AM NOT PERFECT! Sometimes I feel I should purchase a tee shirt with this phrase and wear it every day… just because I try to do things right. I try to be honest. I try to walk with integrity. I try to lend a helping hand. I try to do what is asked of me. I try to be loyal. I try to walk with love. I try to be understanding. I try not to be vengeful. I try… I try… I really try. But I will not always embody these characteristics, always.
I remember I was taking someone home from church one afternoon and we came to an intersection, where a woman was asking for some change. She came to my car window, and I shook my head “no”. As the woman proceeded then to get an attitude, I drove off because the traffic light was green. As I drove off, one of the women in my car told me “Amber, I thought you were going to go ahead and give her some change, you know… little miss perfect.” I laughed it off, but that bothered me a bit on the ride home. I thought to myself do I try to be perfect? I mean, who’s perfect I am trying to be?
Maybe she thought that way because I do a lot for my church or I help when it is needed… shoot, I really don’t know why she thought that about me, but I really don’t want her to have that perception of me. Truth is, a thought never runs across my mind to not be helpful, to not be accommodating, to not be vigilant. Bad things and thoughts just never creep into my mind. Getting over on people never crosses my path. Not being fair is never in my vocabulary. Doing bad to people is never in my mind! I just try to be kind and do what’s right based on how I was brought up. Now, in my adult life, I carry these simple traits with me.
So people, still, perceive me as this ‘goody two shoes’ or ‘little miss perfect’ but I am just acting in accordance to how I was raised. Bringing it closer to home, one of my personal problems: there are guys I meet that put me on this pedestal when they are first attracted to me. “Oh, she’s pretty. Oh, she’s wonderful. Oh, she got her head on right. Oh, she’s educated. Oh, she’s nice. Oh, she’s this. Oh, she’s that.” And, although, I am flattered, I find myself getting a bit cautious now when guys tell me all the extravagant things about me, and marvel at this woman called “Amber.” I really want to tell them, no, let’s just live and you will really find out about me. Because what if I slip up one day and get an attitude? Or act “out of character” because I am mad? Or say something that might offend you? Or do something you don’t like? What if one day that happens? Will I not be this wonderful person anymore? Will I only be human now?
We all fall short. I fall short several times, a day. The Living Bible puts it plainly in Romans 3:23 “Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal;” We will never be picture perfect in God’s eyes anymore, ever since Adam. But we can try to live the best way we can according to what He calls us to do, and hope His mercy endures over the rest. And that is my take on any type of relationship I am in, whether family, friend or romantic interest. I will try my best, and hopefully on things I fall short in, I can receive grace from them. I have been in plenty of relationships where I was told to “be myself” but when I fell short of their standard, I wasn’t enough for them.
I’ve quickly learned that some people like idea of what they want to see in you. Seeing potential is one thing, but I feel when you become oblivious to the fact a person will carry flaws, it becomes a problems for me. Knowing very few people can handle who you really are. Too many people want the good side all the time, leaving the other person to feel stressed, overwhelmed and trying to walk on eggshells simply to appease.
That’s why I have learned through experience to be stingy with me. What I mean by this?
Not everyone really should have your intimate company, in all seriousness. Like the quote said, we have to learn whose hand to shake and whose hand to hold. We go on in life trying to hold every ones hand, holding on to them, becoming closely acquainted with them, letting them in our personal space, letting them see us, metaphorically, naked. I am guilty of this. Everyone I would come in contact with who was new, I just let them right on in to my life. I didn’t know how to distinguish between someone who should be ‘passing by’ from someone who should ‘stay’. I wanted everyone to stay! But recognizing the call that is placed on my life, everyone can not stay in close quarters with me.
If you want to know whose hand to shake and whose hand to hold, that’s easy… Discernment!
Discernment is real! Discernment will let you know some stuff when others try to ‘cover up’ themselves. Discernment even sees over that. But it has to be learned and matured. God is growing my discernment by testing my obedience. How is He testing my obedience? By speaking to me. I am learning God’s voice day by day and He tells my spirit “No” “Yes” “Caution” “Proceed” “Don’t Go There” “Don’t Say that”… and as He instructs me, I follow. I don’t have peace about someone, I know it’s God talking. I don’t have a good feeling about somewhere, that’s God talking. Because I know my soul and spirit are well fed, I know the Holy Spirit is alive in me and helps me daily to make my choices.
I realized that there is something special on the inside of me. God has shown me this and He also told me to be careful with it, because people can and will mismanage what I have to offer. And as my ears perked up to what He told me, I started seeking Him for all interactions I have with people.
The moral of today’s lesson: We have to learn the moments when we need to be stingy with ourselves. We also need to learn that ‘perfection’ is in the eye of the beholder. As we strive NOT to be the perfect person people will paint us to be, but to graciously move forward being truly ‘ourselves’, flaws and all.