Have you ever had someone try to hold you to a perfect standard that just wasn’t possible to attain? I am a terrible artist, and it would be like someone holding up the Mona Lisa to me and expecting me to paint a perfect copy. It’s impossible! But so often as women we find ourselves carrying the terrible burden of trying to live up to this crazy standard.
Can I be honest? There was a time in my life I felt this way about God. I thought the Bible was just a list of rules I had to follow, and God was holding me up to it. I was drowning trying to make sure each brush stroke of my life was perfect. It wasn’t until later in my adult life that I realized following all the rules of the Bible was impossible. And that was exactly God’s point.
In the book of Exodus we see Moses come down Mt. Sinai after meeting with God and give the Israelites laws to follow. These laws covered every part of their lives and were called the Ten Commandments. They showed the people what righteous living looked like, but the point was to bring the people face to face with the reality of their sin. This is a list that no one could follow perfectly, and this was a big problem. The Bible tells us that God is holy. He is completely different then us and never does anything wrong (1 Samuel 2:2). He is perfect and without sin (1 John 3:5). That’s the good news. The bad news? We aren’t any of those things. We mess up. We stumble. And no matter how hard we might try, we can never meet God’s perfect standard (Romans 3:23-24).
So is God just another voice like the rest of the world beating us down with the reality that we can never be good enough? No. The world points out our imperfections to shame us, but God points them out to give us hope. When we come face to face with our sin, we realize only God has the solution: a Savior. Praise God that because of Christ we can rest knowing we will never be good enough. Jesus came and lived the life we couldn’t live so that through him we can be saved.
And when we realize God’s love for us in the midst of our imperfections, how do we respond? We follow his rules. But not because we “have to,” but because the more we get to know him, the more we know his way is best. We give him glory and point people to him when we follow him. And we aren’t on our own. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength to walk in Christ day by day and make our hearts more and more like him.
So today, take your life with all its scribbles that don’t even come close to the beauty of the Mona Lisa and lay it at his feet. Stand and face today boldly with his strength, knowing that you aren’t perfect but that in your place your Rescuer was.