Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Image of Perfection

I just made my favorite raspberry & cream bread for a precious friend. It turned out great… well, mostly. I did make a mistake. I didn’t spray the pan. In my defense, it IS a Pampered Chef Stone pan and you’re not supposed to have to spray them. In fact, they specifically advise you not to. However, in this case I didn’t grease the pan and after it came out of the oven and cooled I ran a knife carefully around the edges, flipped the pan, tapped the bottom and out popped my bread… well, most of it. The bottom layer stuck mercilessly and left my beautiful loaf beat up and exposed.

I thoughtfully examined the bread trying to decide if I should start over. Delicately, I turned it top side up and from this angle it appeared nothing short of perfect. So, I wrapped it up and delivered it to my friend knowing that even if she discovered its broken shame concealed underneath, she probably wouldn’t care one bit.

We are a lot like that loaf bread.

Women especially.

We have a cleaned up, put-together outer image that often fools people into concluding that we’re faultless. Now, I’m not saying we’re “trying” to fool people because that is not what’s going on. We girls just like to feel “together,” so we go to some trouble to make sure we look “together.” But, sadly we also get an instant eyeful of each other at our very best and assume that everything is just perfect inside and out. But it’s not. And if we get close enough we soon find, just like that bread, hidden underneath a protective masquerade is every girls very own brokenness and shame. Her not-so-perfect-ness and vulnerable insides are unveiled.

Sweet friends, we need to stop these false and very destructive assumptions. You know that right after determining that someone has got it all together we do the worst things. We compare. We get green-eyed. We condemn ourselves. We resent. We suddenly strive for someone else’s perceived perfection and we get lost.

The hard truth is that when we do this an automatic shift takes place. Suddenly we lose sight of how God instructs us to look and that has nothing to do with what’s on the outside.

The bible says…

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:17 NIV)

If God is not looking at my appearance or yours then why do we? If God is only concerned about the condition of our hearts then why aren't we? You know what gets dealt with when we focus on our heart? Our broken-ness. Our shame. Our healing. Our understanding of His ways. The real stuff. The things that really need attention. The very things that cause us to have an image that attempts to cover it all up.

Let's be challenged together. To compare ourselves with the only measuring stick that counts, Jesus. To live by His standards. His ways. He is the only image of perfection worth striving for. Holy. Matchless. Faithful. Lover of our souls. Our Savior.

Honestly, why would we want anything else?


  1. mmm...now I'm hungry for raspberry and cream bread. :) Thanks for this. I couldn't agree more. It's heart matter. I constantly have to remind myself and focus on the fact that my identity rests in Christ alone.

  2. You hit it right on the head.So many of us try to hide in 'perfection'

  3. That cake was awesome by the way! Just like David, he didn't look like much to the average person but he was the perfect choice to complete God's plan. Underneath the cake may have appeared challenged to you but to the one eating it, it was perfectly yummy!

    I like this line because its so true.. "If God is not looking at my appearance or yours then why do we?" So many times I do this. Then God redirects my thinking to what beautiful really is--true unfleeting beauty is on the inside, the outside is only a distraction! Thank goodness because these wrinkles sure are coming on fast!

  4. to live by the measure of Jesus is so liberating..we have put ourselves in little boxes that we find hard to get out of given our perception of the world..a worthy challenge to measure upto His requirements..