What to do When Your People are not Perfect

My first horse would only go one way: home as fast as he could. 

So I sold him for a more adventurous horse. This one loved to go anywhere and to run whenever he could… And not stop no matter how hard I pulled back on the reins!

So I sold him and bought a lovely horse who obeyed but was scared of any sudden movement. A blowing leaf would send him jumping one way and leave me suspended mid-air (that is until I found myself in a heap on the ground).

So I sold him and bought a young horse I could train the way I  wanted. Only he developed a bad habit of rearing up and kicking me in the back as I led him out to pasture.

So I sold him to attend college. Alas, the perfect horse was not to be found. End of story.

Well… not quite.


Perfect Loved Ones

As I look back, it is apparent, the same perfection I pursued in my horses continues to be a fault of mine. I not only expect more from myself than I can deliver, I often look for perfection in my people as well.

  • Expecting my husband to embody every attribute of Christ;
  • Expecting my children to be the epitome of compassion, integrity, and respect;
  • Expecting my friends to be cut from the mold of Elizabeth, always available, never resentful, wise of tongue. 

And although improvement is a worthy goal, expecting perfection in anything and anyone other than the Lord is folly. Such impossible expectations breeds discontentment and destroys relationships. 

Although improvement is a worthy goal, expecting perfection in anything and anyone other than the Lord is folly. Click To Tweet

Thank God, He gave us guidelines for our interactions and attitudes toward others. In fact, He set the ultimate example. 

“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:7-9, my emphasis)

While We Were Yet Sinners

While we were yet sinners, the most holy, perfect Father God embraced us! He didn’t wait for us to make better choices or to throw off all those bad habits. He chose us with all our imperfections.

Instead of expecting the impossibility of our perfection, God showed his great love for us by sending His own Perfection, in the form of His Son. 

Shouldn’t we offer that same grace to those in our lives as well?

We can’t send perfection, but we can pass on the love and grace we’ve received.

So instead of expecting the impossible from your people (or your horses), maybe it’s time to embrace them in all their imperfections. 

Instead of expecting the impossible from our people, maybe it’s time to embrace them in all their imperfections. Click To Tweet

Love them in and through their funny (and not so funny) quirks. You’re likely to uncover some unexpected blessings in the process. 

“Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

Reflections: Do you expect perfection from the people in your life? Who might you need to extend grace and love to today? 

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By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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