“Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other. This will bring honor to God” — Romans 15:7 (ERV).
Have you ever purchased a product labeled “as is?” We trust the lowered price of the item we’ve bought will be worth whatever hidden flaws might emerge later on.
On her 50th wedding anniversary, a woman revealed the secret of her long and happy marriage. She said, “On my wedding day, I decided to make a list of 10 of my husband’s faults which, for the sake of the marriage, I would overlook.”
One of her guests asked her what some of the faults she chose to overlook were. “To tell you the truth,” she replied, “I never did get around to making that list. But whenever my husband did something that made me hopping mad, I would say to myself, ‘Lucky for him that's one of the 10!’”
Author Steve Goodier once shared this humorous story in one of his encouraging messages. I’d saved the email as a reminder not to expect perfection in another while ignoring my own faults. We’re all flawed and imperfect. Wouldn’t life be boring if everyone were perfect?
Goodier adds, “Even pottery may be closer to perfection than we humans, if Belleek Pottery in Ireland is any example.”
According to Goodier, every finished piece of pottery undergoes a final inspection. To examine for imperfections, each pottery piece is held up to a bright light and examined for flaws. If even the slightest defect is discovered, the cup, plate, vase or sugar bowl is destroyed—smashed to pieces. Blemished items are never sold as “seconds.”
The Japanese have a word for the art of finding beauty in imperfection. Called wabi-sabi, the term emerged in the 15th century as a reaction to the then prevailing trend of using lavish, ornamental and rich materials in their surroundings.
Wabi-sabi is a reminder of our transient life. Our bodies and the world around us are in a perpetual process of returning to dust. Growth, decay and erosion can be found all around us: in the wrinkles and liver spots of an aging person, the frayed edges of worn-out jeans and the rust of an old, abandoned auto. If we look closely, we just might find the beauty in those imperfections.
Christ has seen us at our best and at our very worst, but He still accepts us “as is.” It’s a reminder for us to see others through His eyes, loving and accepting one another in spite of the imperfections. When we do, God gets the praise.
The Christian life isn’t about perfection. It’s about the transforming grace of Jesus Christ, the only perfect man to ever walk this earth.
In Philippians 3:12, the Apostle Paul says, “I don’t mean to say I am perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be.”
God takes us “as is,” and His amazing grace transforms us into the best deal ever.
Round is a former Jay High School instructor who now resides in Grove. In addition to writing a weekly faith-based column, “A Matter of Faith,” Round spends time with her grandchildren, shooting photos, hiking, working in her yard, reading and studying the Word, volunteering at her church and going on mission trips. For more information, or to contact Round, persons interested may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.