“We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” (James 3:2)
Striving to do better is a good thing, but try to have realistic expectations. Everything in life isn’t black or white; there are grey areas and some “in-betweens”. Everything can’t be perfect all the time, and everything isn’t horrible all the time. Deciding to skip a meeting or social event because you’re running five minutes late or have a blemish on your face, or cancelling an entire trip because a flight is delayed, or feeling like a terrible human being over one innocent mistake, is sometimes referred to as “polarizing”. This leads to frustration and negativity.
To maintain your joy in life, you must accept that you won’t be perfect all the time, and neither will the people or things around you. When you expect perfection from life, you tend to expect the same from other people. And that kind of unrealistic thinking not only meets with a great deal of disappointment when your expectations aren’t met, it puts unbearable pressure on the people you care about and can eventually destroy those relationships.
Why not give people a break and stop demanding something from them that they have no ability to give you? The apostle James said we all stumble, fall, and offend in many things. So if we all make mistakes — and we do — learn to accept that it’s just part of the human experience, and relax! Question: in what specific ways do you need to be more accepting of the “imperfect areas” in your own life, or in the way someone else’s imperfect areas affect you? And before you answer, think about this: “Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4).
Heavenly Father, there are so many imperfect areas in my life and thank You for loving me anyway — help me be loving to other imperfect people around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.