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Too Perfect

Read Romans 12:1-8

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that you may discover what is the will of God - what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NRSVUE)

Mike C. Bertoglio lives in Georgia. As they left their hotel while on a recent trip, Mike noticed several plants in the lobby. They all looked healthy. One in particular, an orchid, had several beautiful blossoms. As Mike moved closer to the orchid, he reached out to touch a leaf. The leaf felt stiff. Then Mike noticed the "Soil" in the container was not real. Neither was the plant. Nearer to the door were two other plants Mike did not recognize. They also had beautiful leaves, but no flowers. Mike reached out to touch a leaf, assuming it was fake. Then he noticed a brown spot at the end of another leaf. To his surprise it was a real plant! The too-perfect plant was not real. The plant with the blemish was the real one.

The world expects us to have a perfect appearance - perfect skin and the ideal weight, perfect partners, and perfect children. Yet pursuing that kind of perfection does not always lead to abundant life.

The Bible reminds us not to live according to the false pretenses of the world, where perfect looks are all too frequently emphasized. Rather, we are to focus on the internal gifts and graces and on the renewing of our minds. Jesus loved those with blemishes and those on the margins of society. Likewise, we can learn to love ourselves, even though we are imperfect.

Prayer: O God, help us to love ourselves and to accept our blemishes, realizing they are signs of our humanity, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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