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Making Peace with My Flaws

I realized recently that when I am done building a piece of furniture, I stand there and look at it.  I’m proud of what I have accomplished.  I look at all the details and think back to the problems I had to solve to make this piece turn out the way it did.  I will run my hands over it, feeling the smooth texture and remembering the rough, splintery wood that used to be there. 

I know this sounds self-indulgent, but creating something of beauty moves me.  I think back to the story of creation in the Bible and how when God created something the Bible says:

“God saw that it was good.” 

I think that creative gene is present in us.  So whether it is a piece of furniture, a presentation for work, or a perfect meal, we love to marvel at what our hands made. However, there is another side to this for me.

When someone comes over and compliments me on a piece of furniture I have made, that same piece I stood staring at in my garage for an hour, I do something odd.  I don’t take the compliment and then explain the process of the creation to them.  Instead, I quickly point out the flaw.  Nothing I have ever made has been perfect.  There is always some tiny imperfection that drives me crazy. 

This flaw would go completely unnoticed by the person admiring the piece if I did not bring it up.  I don’t show the craftsmanship or detail that it took hours to get right.  I choose to not only show, but highlight, the part where a momentary lack of focus or impatience created an imperfection.    

So why is it that the first thing I choose to show is the mistake? I can only think it is because I feel it is glaringly obvious to the rest of the world, and if I call it out first, then maybe it isn’t so bad.  Or perhaps it is because I don’t want anyone to think that I think something is perfect when they can see it obviously is not.

I do this with more than just things I create.  I do this with my life. I point out my flaws so others can’t hurt me with their criticism.

When God was creating the world, He didn’t finish with something, sit back, and say it was “Just OK.”  He said it was good.  He didn’t immediately point out flaws or things He would have done differently if he had just had more time, like I do.  He made it, and He owned it.  From an outside perspective, the duckbilled platypus could definitely be seen as a mistake, but to God, it was just what He intended. 

Everything in creation has a purpose.  None of us were mistakes.  Do we have imperfections? Sure. But should that be what we focus on? Absolutely not!

If I make a table with a scratch in the top does that mean that the table is unable to function as a table because of this blemish? Not at all. The table, despite its flaw, still accomplishes the purpose it was created for.  That is you, and that is me.  God does not call us to be perfect. He calls us to a purpose.  

We shouldn’t let the nicks or scratches we have incurred over time keep us from fulfilling the purpose God created us for.

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CaroleDebbie ReddehaseWaynoAnita GrayJoanne Kelsey Recent comment authors
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Gerry Schuster
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Gerry Schuster

First, that dovetail is being a real jerk. If it’s going to sink down in one corner another corner should protrude and yet somehow this nefarious dovetail did not follow the rules. Secondly, “I point out my flaws so others can’t hurt me with their criticism” is very interesting and true. I like to think I’m a tough guy but sometimes it feels like my mistake says so much about my ability or lack thereof. We are not the mistakes we make.

Ken
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Ken

I’m an Amish carpenter , that’s called a “ Dutchman “

Wayne W. Vogt
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I Know. I have been in the sign business for over 25 years and I always want signs to look PERFECT without any flaws. People are constantly looking at my work and that is why I am this way. Of course sometimes I forget and realize that The sign is 25 FT. in the air and people are driving by it @ 70 M.P.H. I always try to remember the verse, “Colossians 3:17 – and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through… Read more »

Joanne Kelsey
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Joanne Kelsey

Wally thanks for sharing about your imperfections ,I have a few or many. to bring out our imperfections. If we all would share these Imperfections. We would find that we are a people friendly world who recognizes that we all are imperfectional.

Joanne Kelsey
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Joanne Kelsey

Jeremiah 18:3-4

Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.

Anita Gray
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Anita Gray

Wow. What an insightful article. I see myself in there.

Wayno
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Yeah, us perfectionists are our own worse enemies. Anxiety, insecurity, fear of disapproval… Lot’s of reasons for sure.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”.
-Psalm 139:14 New International Version (NIV)

Debbie Reddehase
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Debbie Reddehase

There are no flaws in God’s world. We are who we are supposed to be even if we stray from the straight path. God is in control so the scars were planned.

Carole
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Carole

I needed to hear this today. I do this all the time then resent people when they repeat my imperfections back to me. I shouldn’t bring attention to my imperfections if I don’t want them to become a topic of conversation.