God is perfect, but He is not a perfectionist. God always does what is it right, but the incarnation and death of Jesus is proof that God is not above working with broken material. Jesus is the Great Carpenter who is building a house out of warped wood: you and me. God comes down and takes our flesh, our weakness, our failures and instead of those infecting Him, spoiling Him, and somehow taking away from the glory of the project, He infects them with His holiness, righteousness, and goodness. In a mystery, where our sin abounds, His grace abounds still more.
But perfectionism whines about the imperfections. The perfectionist is a quitter and a complainer. He sees the messiness, the weaknesses, the holes, the blemishes and gets upset and throws his hands up in frustration. He walks away from the messiness. He resents having to work with flawed material. But this is to have a higher standard than even God has. And if God were to adopt your standard, you wouldn’t be here. He would have thrown His hands up and quit on you long ago. But our God is no quitter, no whiner, no perfectionist. The love and grace of God reaches down into our mess, our sin and picks us up right where are we are, warts and all. And because Jesus condemned sin in His flesh on the cross, now even our flesh begins to heal.
This means when your kids are disobedient, you can’t throw up your hands and give up as though everything has gone wrong. When things are difficult with your spouse, your parents, at work, this is a not a sign that you should quit, give up, run away. No, the gospel is that God has drawn near. If there’s a mess, then you have something to work with. If your house is a mess, don’t resent it. You have something to work with. If relationships are messy, don’t resent it. You have something to work with. And don’t avoid the hard cases by romantically looking for harder sounding ones. Plenty of folks hide from the hard work of dealing with the mess right in front them in the name of helping orphans and widows on the other side of the world. Perfectionism flourishes in idealistic dreams but is ultimately cruel and harsh because it ignores real needs right in front of you, but the perfect grace of God flourishes where we feel most helpless and hopeless and it’s the kind of grace that multiplies out for the world.