Just ask Sarah, She’ll Tell You
Perfection is a word that I used to aspire to. Growing up my dad was a perfectionist, and I wanted to be just like him.
I also saw him be hard on himself for not being perfect.
I thought perfection was…well, perfect. Isn’t this what I’m supposed to be?
It was my wife that opened my eyes to the negative aspect of perfection. She pointed out that perfection was impossible to attain. Afterall, God was the only one who was perfect. Excellence is a much better goal.
Striving for perfection can lead to a lot of issues. These include the feeling of falling short of the goal. This often leads to depression. The notion that we aren’t good enough is encouraged when we see other people who “seem to have a perfect life” on social media.
Too often, we feel that we don’t have what it takes to succeed.
As we start our journey through the Old Testament this year, we read through the first sixteen chapters of Genesis. In Genesis 16:1-6, we read about Abram’s wife Sarai taking matters into her own hands when she felt imperfect.
She had not been able to have any children up to this point, and not having a male child to carry on the family linage was a big deal.
As we humans too often do, she decided to take control of the situation herself.
Sarai told her husband to sleep with Hagar, her slave, so that “if she has a child, it will be mine”. After Hagar realized she was pregnant, she began to treat Sarai hatefully.
Then, Sarai blamed the situation on Abram. So, Abram told Sarai, “All right! She’s your slave, do whatever you want with her.” In turn, Sarai began treating Hagar so harshly that Hagar ran away.
Well, that plan didn’t go so well.
Looking forward to next week’s reading we learn that even though Sarai and Abram are beyond the normal age to have children, God gives them an heir, Isaac.
With God’s promise to Abram, He tells him that He will be the father of many nations and changes his name to Abraham which means “the father of many”. God also changes Sarai’s name to Sarah which means “princess of many”.
Even though Sarai and Abram were less than perfect when they took matters into their own hands…God used them to accomplish great things.
The same is true for us.
We don’t have to be perfect to accomplish great things if we will trust in God’s plans.
But the sooner we trust God, the less mistakes He’ll have to fix.