Why is it as Christians we feel we must be perfect? We must have the perfect clothes, the perfect hair, a perfect smile, and perfectly behaved children. We must post pictures of perfect family photos on our perfect family vacations. We showcase our perfectly decorated homes while quoting the perfect verse out of our perfectly lip-sticked mouths.
But it is a lie.
None of us are perfect. Not me. And not you.
In reality, we have a thin layer of dust on every surface in the house. Every bedroom boasts a laundry basket full of wrinkled clothes, washed days before and never put away. Dishes are in the sink. Papers are scattered on the counters and bills – oh, the bills – that haven’t been paid. Some of them are marked in red: PAST DUE. Scattered too, like the papers, are hastily spoken words. Words between husband and wife, and mom and kids. Words spoken out of frustration and a lack of patience.
No one talks about the sleepless nights when anxiety threatens to choke the breath from you. There aren’t cute memes about not getting invited to girls night out.
But I’m here to let you in on a secret, one I hope will set you free.
Your scars are beautiful.
Not only are your scars beautiful, but God can use them. Stop covering those places you’ve been hurt. You, friend, have been in battle. You were wounded, some of you to the point of death, but you were not defeated.
My husband and I have been watching a series on the kingdoms of King Alfred who reigned in Wessex in the late 800s. The land was constantly going to war. There was one warrior who stood out among the rest. He was fierce and covered with battle scars. When you go to war, you want someone beside you who has been through it before and survived. And trust me, we are in a war.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 NIV
When you need help, you look for the ones with scars.
Friends, it’s time we shed the perfect image and show our scars. Even Jesus, the only one who was ever perfect, showed his scars.
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:27-28 NIV
Jesus could have come back from the dead and worn gloves to cover the scars. He is Jesus. Let’s be real, He could have returned with a perfect body. But Jesus chose the scars. And in revealing his scars, Thomas believed it really was Jesus. Christian friend, when people who don’t know Jesus see you being “real,” it draws them to you. People are drawn, not by your perfection, but by your flaws. It shows you understand and will offer compassion.
Other Christians are drawn to your imperfections, as well. They recognize you as a safe place to share their struggles. Satan wants us to suffer in silence. Satan would have us believe that we must keep up appearances. We must continue to be perfect in every way or we aren’t real Christians. We don’t have enough faith.
Don’t believe that lie. Real Christians have been hurt and wounded. They have made mistakes and been burned. They are recovering addicts. They struggle with anxiety and worry about their kids.
It’s time we let the world know the truth. Christians don’t have it all together – we just know Someone who does. Jesus. So if you’ve been struggling to keep up the façade, let go, my friend.
Christian, your scars are beautiful. And they are a reminder that you’ve been to battle, and you have survived.