Since we are saved by Grace and sustained in this life by God’s Grace it is foolishness to attempt to win acceptance, love, meaning or purpose in our lives through being perfect. We’ll never be perfect. There is no one who is completely righteous, no, not one! I read that somewhere. When we focus all our energy on being perfect we ruin our own lives and we ruin the lives of those around us. We all sin, we all make mistakes, we all say things we’re sorry for, we all do things we wish we could take back. We must to come to grips with the truth regarding our own sinfulness if we’re ever going to be able to have healthy relationships with others.

In his men’s seminar, David Simmons, a former cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys, tells about his childhood home. His father, a military man, was extremely demanding and always pushed him for perfection in everything that he did. He never had complements for any of Dave’s accomplishments, but rather pushed him to achieve more. When Dave played High School football, his father was unrelenting in his criticisms. After every game his father would point out everything he did wrong. Dave writes, “Most boys got butterflies in the stomach before the game; I got them afterwards. Facing my father was more stressful than facing any opposing team.” By the time he entered College he hated his father and chose to the University of Georgia because it was the furthest from home. After college Dave was the second round draft pick for the St. Louis Cardinals. Joe Namath (who later played for the NY Jets) was the first round pick. Excited he called his father and told him. His father said, “how does it feel to be second?”

I remember the fad-psychology book in the 70’s entitled, “your OK, I’m OK.” It talked about how we relate to ourselves and to others. You can see yourself as Ok and others not OK. You can see yourself as non Ok, while others are OK. Sometimes you might see yourself and others as not OK, but the right way to live was to see everyone as OK. I’d argue that the biblical view of this would be, “I’m not OK, You’re not Ok, but that’s all OK.” Jesus often taught us the importance of love. It is the greatest commandment and if we can learn to keep that commandment we’d satisfy the entire “law and prophets.” We are to love God first and foremost and then love others also. Paul writes a famous passage in his letter to the Corinthians all about the nature of love. In that chapter (1 Corinthians 13), he defines love in various ways. One of the more important ways is that Love doesn’t keep score. It doesn’t record a record of wrongs, it doesn’t write down a list of weaknesses and failures. Rather, love looks past weaknesses and even overlooks wrongs. I like the way the Living Bible puts it; “Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends.” God’s love for us inspired His grace to us. Look at the Cross! “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Our love for God should inspire our grace for others! Perfectionism will destroy any relationship.