A few years ago, the group MercyMe released a song with the title Flawless. You can listen to it here. It’s a song with an important message and is one of my favorite contemporary Christian songs. If you’ve never heard it you definitely need to listen to it; if you have heard it you need to listen to it again and then one more time after that just for good measure.
It seems as though God’s been frequently showing me lately how broken we see ourselves. It’s shown up in several movies, in conversations with friends, and even in those middle of the night conversations God and I seem to have on a regular basis. There are variations, of course, but the message always comes back to the same basic theme: I’m damaged goods and not worthy to be loved. It breaks my heart when I hear it. Because it isn’t true. It doesn’t have to be.
We live our lives, make our choices, and suffer the consequences of the poor ones. The world then proceeds to treat us like the dented can on the grocery shelf or the ugly produce that no one wants to buy. We want new and shiny; used and slightly dented are tossed away as useless. That’s what the world does; it treats ‘imperfect’ people the same way until they believe their imperfections make them worthless. Even more shameful, Christians are sometimes just as guilty of what I call “the splinter and 2×4 syndrome”. Jesus spoke of it in the Sermon on the Mount:
Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye? Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3–5).
To those who think you’re damaged beyond repair, unworthy of love, I want desperately to tell you something important. You’re in good company; that’s been me, too. In fact, if you were to ask anyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ, it would be them as well. But they would also tell you it’s not true, despite what the world tells you.
What God did at the Cross when Jesus was put to death was to destroy the lie that we have no hope of ever being anything but imperfect, that our sins are such we could never be forgiven. Christ’s blood shed on that cross is sufficient to cover everything. All the sins, all the shame of being imperfect; it covers it all so when God looks at you He sees a flawless being. Our sins are gone, out of sight, out of mind. “As far as the east is from the west, so does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:12).
The apostle Paul said it this way: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new is come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). He goes on in verse 20 and 21 to add this: “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. Jesus is our avenue of reconciliation to God. When we surrender to Jesus in obedience, we become the righteousness of God. New, bright and shiny. Sins forgiven. Those things the world calls imperfections, God sees as purposeful design, and He’ll use them to do some amazing things to bring Himself glory and accomplish His purposes. Flawless. Not perfect; perfect is something we’ll never pull off in this life, and it’s the pressure point that Satan will continue using to keep us ashamed. God makes us flawless; when we are in Christ, the Holy Spirit brings us everything we need to be what God designed us to be. Because now we reflect the image of Christ, and there are no flaws there.