I am re-sharing some old devotional posts as I work on updating some new things I’m writing to share. I hope they bless you still!
Romans 4:1-12 is an answer to our every perfectionism. It is not due to our perfection in actions, attitudes, or religion that our God reckons righteousness to us. No, it is because God sees through every appearance to our heart. However
imperfectly we might live our lives, do we make room for God in our lives, trusting God enough to try and let God guide our steps? If so, God reckons righteousness to us.
We can see that perfection is not the answer in the models of faith God lifts up here in Romans. Abram was a man of faith who left all to follow God, leaving his home-town of Ur, his home religion, and traveling to an un-known land. What faith! Yet Abram was not a perfect man! He takes a slave woman, using her to have a son, and then casts them aside when Isaac is born. He lies to protect himself on multiple occasions in ways that put his family in danger. Yet though he, like us, is a sinner who does much wrong, his heart remains open to God, willing to be changed, and willing to abandon old ways when he learns they are wrong.
The same is true with David. David was a womanizer. He killed a man. David was involved with court intrigue, and had his hands covered with the blood of all who died in his wars. Yet even his journey to become king grows out of his relationship with God, one of faith in God and love for the God who shaped his life. It is his faith which inspires him when confronting by his wrong-doing by ones speaking for God to admit it and change.
This openness to God is there in many heroes of faith. Martin Luther King, Hildegard of Bingen, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther, Sojourner Truth, St. Paul… none of these are people who are perfect. Each have their sins and foibles. Yet each choose to listen to that voice deep within, the voice of the Almighty, and try in their stumbling ways to follow it.
You cannot be perfect either. You might as well give up beating yourself up for not being able to out-do these great women and men of faith. You cannot and will not be perfect. But … You can be open, open to God, open to guidance, open to learning new things. You can take up and follow the best you are able. Apparently, since it is to such imperfect ones God reckons righteousness, that is all God is asking. Perhaps, if such as them changed the world through their imperfect following of God, you can too.